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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2005 Jul 15;172(2):212-7. Epub 2005 Apr 28.

Failure of high-dose ergocalciferol to correct vitamin D deficiency in adults with cystic fibrosis.

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  • 1Johns Hopkins Adult CF Program, 1830 East Monument Street, 5th floor, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.



Treatment guidelines for vitamin D monitoring and supplementation in cystic fibrosis (CF) have recently been developed and published by a consensus committee, but have not been prospectively tested.


To use these guidelines to determine the percentage of adults with CF requiring vitamin D repletion therapy and to evaluate the effectiveness of the currently recommended high-dose oral ergocalciferol repletion protocol.


Prospective study of clinical outcomes after therapy with the recommended vitamin D repletion algorithm.


Of 134 adults with CF, 109 (81.3%) were found to have 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) levels below the recommended 30 ng/ml. Sixty-six of these adults completed the recommended course of 400,000 IU of oral ergocalciferol over 2 months, and only five (8%) responded with correction of their serum 25-OHD to the goal of 30 ng/ml or greater (mean change, +0.3 ng/ml; from 18.8 to 19.1 ng/ml). In the 33 adults with CF who also completed the recommended second course of 800,000 IU of ergocalciferol over 2 months, none demonstrated correction of their deficiency (mean change, -1.2 ng/ml).


The results of this study demonstrate that a majority of adults with CF have serum 25-OHD levels below 30 ng/ml, and the currently recommended ergocalciferol repletion regimen often does not fully correct vitamin D deficiency and may need to be revised to include even higher dosing of ergocalciferol. Further work is needed to establish the ideal 25-OHD level for maximizing calcium absorption and bone health in CF.

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