1. 1 alpha (OH) vitamin D3 derivatives have an inconstant long term inhibitory effect on PTH secretion. As a matter of fact they act by three mechanisms, one of these being antagonistic: 1) a direct inhibitory action on the prepro-PTH gene; 2) an indirect inhibitory action by increasing plasma calcium; 3) an indirect stimulatory action by increasing plasma phosphate. These two latter phenomena are due to the stimulation of the intestinal absorption of these ions as well as to an intrinsic osteolytic action which may override the inhibition of the bone release of these ions in relation with the decrease of the PTH plasma levels. 2. The use of 1 alpha (OH)D3 derivatives in patients on chronic dialysis is justified in about 30% of the patients on dialysis when in spite of native vitamin D repletion and adequate predialysis control of plasma calcium (2.5 +/- 2 mmol/l) and of plasma phosphate (1.4 - 1.7 mmol/l), the PTH plasma levels are 3 or 5 fold the upper limit of normal whether the patient is on hemodialysis or on CAPD. When hyperphosphatemia is > 1.7 mmol/l it is first necessary to correct it by the use of higher doses of alkaline calcium salts given with the meals as phosphate binder together with a negative perdialytic calcium balance induced by a lower dialysate calcium in order to avoid hypercalcemia. Control of hyperphosphatemia is indeed a necessary prerequisite for the long term PTH suppressive efficacy of 1 alpha OH vitamin D derivatives. 3. The use of 1 alpha(OH)D3 derivatives in the treatment of the predialysis uremic patients is even more limited because there is no additional mean to decrease the risk of hypercalcemia when oral calcium is used as phosphate binder because of the danger of aluminum and magnesium phosphate binders. Fortunately in the adult, oral calcium used as phosphate binder in association with phosphate restriction and correction of possible vitamin D depletion and acidosis is usually efficace to control hyperparathyroïdism without 1 alpha OH vitamin D3. This is not the case in the child to whom protein and phosphate restriction should not be prescribed because of its incompatibility with the Recommended Diet Allowance. Fortunately the high remodeling rate of his growing bones, decreases the risk of hypercalcemia due to the combination of CaCO3 and 1 alpha OH vitamin D3.