Effects of oral paricalcitol and calcitriol treatment on peritoneal membrane characteristics of peritoneal dialysis patients — A pilot study

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♦ Background: Long-term peritoneal dialysis (PD) is frequently complicated by technique failure preceded by peritoneal remodeling. Vitamin D has potent immunomodulatory characteristics: anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic, anti-fibrotic properties, and influences on the macrophage phenotype. Little is known about the relation between pleiotropic effects attributed to vitamin D3 and the peritoneal membrane and what is the most appropriate vitamin D sterol in prevention of peritoneal remodeling in PD patients. Animal studies have suggested that paricalcitol has advantageous effects: decrease in plasma markers of inflammation, less peritoneal fibrosis, less pronounced PD-induced omental angiogenesis, and prevention of loss of ultrafiltration. We investigated whether paricalcitol is advantageous over calcitriol in PD patients. ♦ Method: A multicenter open-label 1:1 randomized non-blinded clinical pilot study enrolled prevalent continous ambulatory PD (CAPD) patients for a period of 6 months comparing paricalcitol with calcitriol. All patients were treated with biocompatible PD fluids. The primary endpoint was peritoneal transport parameters, exploratory endpoints were biomarkers of peritoneal damage and cell analysis (including M1/M2 macrophages), and safety endpoints were metabolic parameters. ♦ Results: Twenty-seven patients were included. Fourteen were randomized to treatment with paricalcitol. There was no difference in peritoneal transport parameters between the groups. We found similar Kt/V, D/P creatinine, D/D0 glucose, ultrafiltration, residual renal function and 24-h urine volume during the study. There was no difference in biomarker concentrations in peritoneal effluents, and no difference in leucocyte differentiation or mesothelial cells between the groups at any time point. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels decreased after administration of calcitriol after 12 and 24 weeks compared with baseline (p = 0.001; p = 0.025). Parathyroid hormone levels in the paricalcitol group did not change significantly. ♦ Conclusion: In this pilot study we investigated the effect of active vitamin D in PD patients. We found no specific benefit of active vitamin D3 in vitamin D3-sufficient PD patients. Additional studies in preferably incident patients, with an adequate PTH suppression in the intervention groups and during a longer period, are required to test the beneficial effects of active vitamin D3 over no treatment and to investigate whether in 25(OH)D3-deficient PD patients the type of active vitamin D3 matters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-228
Number of pages9
JournalPeritoneal Dialysis International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Biomarkers
  • Peritoneal dialysis
  • Peritoneal transport
  • Vitamin D

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