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Evaluation of responses to vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in patients on dialysis: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Vitamin D plays a key role in mineral metabolism and its deficiency is often noted in patients on dialysis for end-stage renal disease (ESRD). We evaluated the efficacy and responses to vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in patients undergoing dialysis for ESRD. Randomized controlled trials or prospective studies comparing vitamin D3 supplementation to placebo in patients with ESRD on dialysis were searched from medical databases using the terms, ‘Calcitriol/Cholecalciferol, vitamin D, chronic kidney disease, hemodialysis, serum calcium, parathyroid hormones (PTH), phosphorus, 25(OH)D, and 1,25(OH)2D’. The outcomes analyzed were serum calcium, PTH, phosphorus, 25(OH)D, and 1,25(OH) 2D levels. Of the 259 records identified, 9 studies with a total of 368 patients were chosen for the current meta-analysis. The number of patients, age, and gender distribution among the groups were comparable. Results reveal a greater increase in both 25(OH)D (Pooled difference in means=0.434, 95% CI 0.174 to 0.694, p=0.001) and 1,25(OH) 2D (Pooled difference in means=0.978, 95% CI 0.615 to 1.34, p<0.001) in the treatment arm, as compared to the placebo. There was no difference in the serum calcium or PTH among the two groups. However, patients in the treatment arm had a significant increase in phosphorus levels (Pooled difference in means=0.434, 95% CI 0.174 to 0.694, p=0.001). Vitamin D supplementation facilitated the maintenance of increased levels of 25(OH) D and 1,25(OH) 2D in patients undergoing dialysis for ESRD. This increase in vitamin D was not associated with hypercalcemia or significant changes in PTH levels.

  • Vitamin D

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