Vitamin D receptor activation has been associated with increased serum creatinine and reduced estimated glomerular filtration rates, raising concerns that its use may be detrimental to kidney function. Here we studied the effect of vitamin D receptor activation on serum creatinine, creatinine generation, and its clearance. We measured baseline serum creatinine and 24-h urine creatinine in 16 patients with chronic kidney disease. The measurements were repeated every day for 7 days, during which time the patients received 2 g paricalcitol, an orally active vitamin D receptor activator, every morning. At 4 days after stopping the vitamin analog, measurements were continued for 3 days. Geometric mean parathyroid hormone levels decreased from 77 pg/ml at baseline to 43 pg/ml at the end of treatment and significantly rebounded to 87 pg/ml following paricalcitol withdrawal, thereby supporting the biological efficacy of the analog dose used. With this therapy, the serum creatinine significantly increased at a rate of 0.010 mg/dl/day and urine creatinine at a rate of 17.6 mg/day. Creatinine and iothalamate clearances did not change, whereas urine albumin decreased insignificantly. Thus, short-term vitamin D receptor activation increases creatinine generation and serum creatinine, but it does not influence the glomerular filtration rate.
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