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Randomized crossover study comparing the phosphate-binding efficacy of calcium ketoglutarate versus calcium carbonate in patients on chronic hemodialysis

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The objective of the study was to evaluate the phosphate-binding efficacy, side effects, and cost of therapy of calcium ketoglutarate granulate as compared with calcium carbonate tablets in patients on chronic hemodialysis. The study design used was a randomized, crossover open trial, and the main outcome measurements were plasma ionized calcium levels, plasma phosphate levels, plasma intact parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels, requirements for supplemental aluminum-aminoacetate therapy, patient tolerance, and cost of therapy. Nineteen patients on chronic hemodialysis were treated with a dialysate calcium concentration of 1.25 mmol/L and a fixed alfacalcidol dose for at least 2 months. All had previously tolerated therapy with calcium carbonate. Of the 19 patients included, 10 completed both treatment arms. After 12 weeks of therapy, the mean (+/-SEM) plasma ionized calcium level was significantly lower in the ketoglutarate arm compared with the calcium carbonate arm (4.8+/-0.1 mg/dL v 5.2+/-0.1 mg/dL; P = 0.004), whereas the mean plasma phosphate (4.5+/-0.3 mg/dL v 5.1+/-0.1 mg/dL) and PTH levels (266+/-125 pg/mL v 301+/-148 pg/mL) did not differ significantly between the two treatment arms. Supplemental aluminum-aminoacetate was not required during calcium ketoglutarate treatment, while two patients needed this supplement when treated with calcium carbonate. Five of 17 (29%) patients were withdrawn from calcium ketoglutarate therapy within 1 to 2 weeks due to intolerance (anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, general uneasiness), whereas the remaining 12 patients did not experience any side effects at all. The five patients with calcium ketoglutarate intolerance all had pre-existing gastrointestinal symptoms; four of them had received treatment with cimetidine or omeprazol before inclusion into the study. Calculations based on median doses after 12 weeks showed that the cost of the therapy in Denmark was 10 times higher for calcium ketoglutarate compared with calcium carbonate (US$6.00/d v US$0.65/d). Calcium ketoglutarate may be an effective and safe alternative to treatment with aluminum-containing phosphate binders in patients on hemodialysis who are intolerant of calcium carbonate or acetate because of hypercalcemia. However, care must be exercised when dealing with patients with pre-existing gastrointestinal discomfort. Due to the high cost of the therapy, calcium ketoglutarate should be used only for selected patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican journal of kidney diseases : the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation
Volume31
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)257-62
Number of pages6
ISSN0272-6386
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1998

    Research areas

  • Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Calcium, Calcium Carbonate, Cross-Over Studies, Drug Costs, Female, Humans, Ketoglutaric Acids, Male, Middle Aged, Parathyroid Hormone, Phosphates, Renal Dialysis

ID: 44939234