(HealthDay News) — For patients on hemodialysis with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) <30 ng/mL, ergocalciferol supplementation improves 25(OH)D levels but has no impact on epoetin utilization, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Dana C. Miskulin, MD, from the Tufts Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues conducted a 6-month randomized trial to examine the effects of supplementation with ergocalciferol on epoetin utilization in 276 patients on hemodialysis with serum 25(OH)D less than 30 ng/mL.
The researchers observed an increase in the mean serum 25(OH)D from 16.0 ng/mL at baseline to 39.2 ng/mL in the ergocalciferol arm, compared with no change in the placebo arm.
Over 6 months there was no significant change in epoetin dose in the ergocalciferol or placebo arms (geometric mean rate, 0.98 vs 0.99), and no difference across arms (P=.78). No changes were seen in either arm in serum calcium, phosphorus, intact parathyroid hormone, or C-reactive protein levels, or in cinacalcet use, phosphate binder, or calcitriol dose.
There was no between-arm difference in the rates of all-cause, cardiovascular, and infection-related hospitalizations.
“In conclusion, 6 months of supplementation with ergocalciferol increased serum 25(OH)D levels in patients on hemodialysis with vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency, but had no effect on epoetin utilization or secondary biochemical and clinical outcomes,” the researchers wrote.
All authors disclosed financial ties to Dialysis Clinic Inc.