Vitamin D deficiency is common among patients with end-stage liver disease (ESLD). The primary aim of our study was to assess the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, secondary hyperparathyroidism, and bone disease in patients with ESLD awaiting LT. Methods: We retrospectively studied 190 patients at our center. Serum total 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH D), parathyroid hormone (PTH), calcium, and bone mineral analysis (BMA) were recorded. Standard World Health Organization (WHO) criteria were used to diagnose osteopenia/osteoporosis. Only patients with normal serum creatinine were analyzed. Results: Thirty-two of 190 patients were excluded from the final analysis (missing serum total 25-OH D levels in three patients and elevated serum creatinine, 29 patients). 105 of 158 (66.4%) evaluable patients had 25-OH D levels <25 ng/mL. Patients included in the analysis (n = 158) were divided according to serum total 25-OH D levels: 0-10 ng/mL (n = 23), 11-20 ng/mL (n = 64), and >20 ng/mL (n = 71). There were no significant differences in mean serum PTH and corrected calcium levels among the three subgroups. Only three patients had elevated serum PTH. Patients with total 25-OH D ≤ 10 ng/mL had higher model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) scores vs. those with 25-OH D > 20 ng/mL (13.3 ± 3, range 8-21, vs. 11.9 ± 3.4, range 6-29, p = 0.004). Irrespective of vitamin D status, bone disease was present in 64.6% of patients. Conclusion: Low vitamin D levels and bone disease are common among patients with ESLD awaiting LT. Despite a high prevalence of low serum total 25-OH D, our cohort maintained normal corrected calcium levels and did not develop secondary hyperparathyroidism. We propose that free serum 25-OH D and vitamin D-binding protein may be necessary to accurately establish the diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency in the setting of ESLD. Additional studies are needed to further define mechanisms of bone disease in patients with ESLD.
- Chronic liver disease
- Secondary hyperparathyroidism
- Total 25-OH vitamin D
- Vitamin D-binding protein
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