NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—Elevated levels of serum alkaline phosphatase are associated with decreased long-term survival among hemodialysis (HD) patients, data presented at the National Kidney Foundation 2012 Spring Clinical Meetings suggest.

In a study of 64 HD patients followed up to more than seven years, Neal Mittman, MD, and others at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn found that each 1-unit increase in serum alkaline phosphatase independently predicted a 0.5% increased risk of death, after adjusting for calcium, phosphorus and other variables.

The study population had mean and median serum alkaline phosphatase levels of 122 and 88.5 U/L, respectively. Elevated levels (greater than 104 U/L) were present in 39% of patients. Serum alkaline phosphatase correrlated directly with calcium, parathyroid hormone, and months on dialysis at study enrollment.

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The investigators concluded that serum alkaline phosphatase may be a useful therapeutic target in clinical practice.