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Is serum phosphorus control related to parathyroid hormone control in dialysis patients with secondary hyperparathyroidism?

João M Frazão1*, Johann Braun2, Piergiorgio Messa3, Bastian Dehmel4, Caroline Mattin5 and Martin Wilkie6

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Nephrology, Hospital de S. João, Medical School & Nephrology Research & Development Unit, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

2 KHz Kuratorium fur Dialyse und Nieren transplantation, Nurnberg, Germany

3 Fondazione IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico Milano, Milan, Italy

4 Amgen Europe GmbH, Zug, Switzerland

5 Amgen Ltd, Cambridge, UK

6 Sheffield Kidney Institute, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK

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BMC Nephrology 2012, 13:76  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-13-76

Published: 3 August 2012



Elevated serum phosphorus (P) levels have been linked to increased morbidity and mortality in dialysis patients with secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) but may be difficult to control if parathyroid hormone (PTH) is persistently elevated. We conducted a post hoc analysis of data from an earlier interventional study (OPTIMA) to explore the relationship between PTH control and serum P.


The OPTIMA study randomized dialysis patients with intact PTH (iPTH) 300–799 pg/mL to receive conventional care alone (vitamin D and/or phosphate binders [PB]; n = 184) or a cinacalcet-based regimen (n = 368). For patients randomized to conventional care, investigators were allowed flexibility in using a non-cinacalcet regimen (with no specific criteria for vitamin D analogue dosage) to attain KDOQI™ targets for iPTH, P, Ca and Ca x P. For those assigned to the cinacalcet-based regimen, dosages of cinacalcet, vitamin D sterols, and PB were optimized over the first 16 weeks of the study, using a predefined treatment algorithm. The present analysis examined achievement of serum P targets (≤4.5 and ≤5.5 mg/dL) in relation to achievement of iPTH ≤300 pg/mL during the efficacy assessment phase (EAP; weeks 17–23).


Patients who achieved iPTH ≤ 300 pg/mL (or a reduction of ≥30% from baseline) were more likely to achieve serum P targets than those who did not, regardless of treatment group. Of those who did achieve iPTH ≤ 300 pg/mL, 43% achieved P ≤4.5 mg/dL and 70% achieved P ≤5.5 mg/dL, versus 21% and 46% of those who did not achieve iPTH ≤ 300 pg/mL. Doses of PB tended to be higher in patients not achieving serum P targets. Patients receiving cinacalcet were more likely to achieve iPTH ≤300 pg/mL than those receiving conventional care (73% vs 23% of patients). Logistic regression analysis identified lower baseline P, no PB use at baseline and cinacalcet treatment to be predictors of achieving P ≤4.5 mg/dL during EAP in patients above this threshold at baseline.


This post hoc analysis found that control of serum P in dialysis patients was better when serum PTH levels were lowered effectively, regardless of treatment received.

Trial registration identifier NCT00110890