Vitamin D deficiency, parathyroid hormone levels, and bone disease among patients with end-stage liver disease and normal serum creatinine awaiting liver transplantation

Rebecca L. Corey, Michael D. Whitaker, Michael D. Crowell, Mira T. Keddis, Bashar Aqel, Vijayan Balan, Thomas Byrne, Elizabeth Carey, David D. Douglas, M. Edwyn Harrison, Hugo E. Vargas, Jorge Rakela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-584
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Transplantation
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014

Keywords

  • Chronic liver disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Secondary hyperparathyroidism
  • Total 25-OH vitamin D
  • Vitamin D-binding protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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