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Int J Nephrol. 2011;2011:269060. doi: 10.4061/2011/269060. Epub 2011 Mar 29.

The Effect of Paricalcitol on Vascular Calcification and Cardiovascular Disease in Uremia: Beyond PTH Control.

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  • 1Renal Division, DMCO, San Paolo Hospital, School of Medicine, University of Milan, Via A. di Rudinì 8; 20142, Milan, Italy.


Secondary hyperparathyroidism is a systemic disorder that associates with bone and cardiovascular disease, including arterial calcification. Treatment with calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D, reduces parathyroid hormone levels, but may result in elevations in serum calcium and phosphorus, increasing the risk of vascular calcification in dialysis patients. New vitamin D receptor activators (VDRAs) have been developed and investigated with the rationale to treat high serum PTH levels, with a reduced risk of hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia. Paricalcitol is a selective VDRA that suppresses PTH secretion with minimal increases on serum calcium and phosphate. Moreover, paricalcitol prevents vascular calcification in experimental models of renal failure, compared with calcitriol.

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