We have used high-dose oral pulse therapy with 1α-hydroxycholecalciferol (1α –OH-D3) to treat 40 hemodialysis patients suffering from secondary hyperparathyroidism. Forty patients with intact parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels of > 150 pg/ml were treated with 4 μg oral 1α-OH-D3 twice weekly for 1 year. The mean PTH level was 515 ± 50 pg/ml prior to treatment, which fell to 191 ± 42 pg/ml after 6 months of treatment (p < 0.00001), and to 164 ± 39 pg/ml after 12 months of treatment. Patients with very high PTH levels (> 800 pg/ml) suppressed less well than patients with lower levels (150-300 pg/ml). The therapeutic end point of PTH < 100 pg/ml was achieved in 23 patients (58%). The main side effect of the treatment was hypercalcemia, but this was symptomatic in only 3 patients, all above the age of 70 years. In summary, oral high-dose pulse therapy with 1α -OH-D3 was highly effective in suppressing PTH levels in hyperparathyroid hemodialysis patients, and side effects were relatively few.
- Pulse therapy