Calcium Carbonate Is an Effective Phosphorus Binder in Children With Chronic Renal Failure

Sharon P. Andreoli, Judith W. Dunson, Jerry M. Bergstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


We evaluated the effectiveness of calcium carbonate as a phosphate binder in 19 children with chronic renal failure; ten children were undergoing dialysis therapy (eight maintained by CAPD and two by hemodialysis). Twelve children had previously received aluminum hydroxide, while calcium carbonate was the primary phosphate binder used in seven children. Among all the children, the serum phosphorus level on no phosphate binder was 7.4 ± 0.9 mg/dL, which decreased significantly (P < .001) to 5.9 ± 0.8 mgldL during calcium carbonate therapy, while the serum calcium, bicarbonate, and creatinine were unchanged. The reduction in the serum phosphorus level occurred while dietary intake of calcium and phosphorus were unchanged, as demonstrated by three-day dietary records. The dose of calcium carbonate required to maintain the serum phosphorus in the normal range varied from 600 mg to 15 gld (mean 7.4 gld). Among the 12 children and four others who had received aluminum hydroxide, serum aluminum levels fell from 108.8 ± 121.8 ng/mL to 36.1 ± 29.1 ng/mL after aluminum hydroxide was stopped (P < .05). Serum alkaline phosphatase and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels during aluminum hydroxide therapy were similar to levels obtained during calcium carbonate therapy, while PTH levels fell in children treated initially with calcium carbonate. All the children have been observed for a mean of 12.0 months (range 4 months to 3 1/2 years). Hypercalcemia occurred in seven children, usually when vitamin D therapy was initiated or the dose changed. Hypercalcemia resolved with adjustment of the vitamin D or calcium carbonate dose in all but one patient. We conclude that calcium carbonate is an effective and safe phosphorus binder in children with chronic renal failure and should replace aluminum hydroxide for this purpose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-210
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987


  • Calcium carbonate
  • aluminum
  • phosphorus
  • renal failure
  • renal osteodystrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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