The researchers, led by Ditte Hansen, MD, PhD, of Roskilde University Hospital in Denmark, conducted a 16-week crossover study that enrolled 86 chronic HD patients, of whom 80 were considered for analysis. The proportion of patients achieving at least a 30% decrease in parathyroid hormone (PTH) during the last four weeks of treatment was similar for both medications (82% with alfacalcidol and 93% for paricalcitol). Both treatments were associated with a similar incidence of hypercalcemia (55% for alfacalcidol and 57% for paricalcitol) and hyperphosphatemia (76% and 69%, respectively).
Alfacalcidol suppressed PTH regardless of baseline PTH level, but suppression by paricalcitol depended on baseline level, according to the investigators.
“Alfacalcidol and paricalcitol are equal candidates for treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism in hemodialysis patients,” Dr. Hansen told Renal & Urology News.
Study findings also were published in Kidney International (2011;80:841-850).