Normal or low initial PTH levels are not a predictor of morbidity/mortality in patients undergoing chronic peritoneal dialysis

Nada B. Dimkovic, Joanne Bargman, Stephen Vas, Dimitrios G. Oreopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: During the past few decades, the pattern of bone disease in uremic patients has changed significantly. There has been an increase in the number of patients with normal or low initial parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels, particularly in patients on chronic peritoneal dialysis (CPD). Previous authors have described a higher prevalence of bone pain, microfractures, and fractures, and higher mortality among these patients. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence, morbidity, and mortality of patients who had a low or normal intact PTH (iPTH) level when they started CPD. Design: We reviewed the records of 251 patients in our program that started CPD during the past 5 years (January 1996 - December 2000). Clinical data, laboratory variables, medication, and dialysis parameters/dose were available at every clinic visit (approximately every 4 weeks). Intact PTH was used to express parathyroid function; values 3 times higher than the upper limit of normal (ULN) were assumed to be optimal. Variables predictive of the development of parathyroid dysfunction were calculated by univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Results: Of the patients who started CPD, 15.5% had iPTH values below the ULN (7.6 pmol/L), and an additional 29.5% had an iPTH of less than 3 times the ULN (i.e., between 7.6 and 22.8 pmol/L). We call these two groups of patients the normal/low initial iPTH group. During the follow-up period (3 - 63 months), we found a trend toward increasing iPTH levels. By the end of the study period, 61.2% of those with normal/low initial iPTH remained in the normal/low iPTH range, and 38.8% had converted to a group with an iPTH range higher than 22.8 pmol/L. The patients who converted their iPTH grouping were younger, fewer of them were diabetics (p = not significant), and they were more frequently on low calcium dialysate (p < 0.05). Hyperphosphatemia was an independent risk factor for subsequent iPTH changes during the course of continuous ambulatory PD treatment. All patients in the normal/low iPTH groups had a low prevalence of bone fractures (3.5%). Also, patients who remained in the normal/low iPTH group at the end of the follow-up period did not have more fractures than those who converted to the hyperparathyroid group (3.8% vs 3.1%). We found no differences in bone fractures between patients with iPTH levels below 22.8 and those with levels above 22.8 pmol/L (3.5% vs 5.4%), nor were there differences in patient and technique survival between these two groups. Conclusion: Normal/low initial iPTH is a frequent finding among patients starting CPD. Serum phosphorus was an independent risk factor for subsequent iPTH changes during the course of CPD treatment. Use of low calcium dialysate was significantly higher in patients who converted their iPTH into the high iPTH range. Very few patients with low/normal iPTH had bone-related symptoms (pain and fractures), and their morbidity and mortality did not differ from those patients with a high initial iPTH level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-210
Number of pages7
JournalPeritoneal Dialysis International
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Adynamic bone disease
  • Chronic peritoneal dialysis
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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