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Crit Care Med. 1995 Sep;23(9):1504-11.

Treatment of hypophosphatemia in patients receiving specialized nutrition support using a graduated dosing scheme: results from a prospective clinical trial.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Tennessee, Memphis 38163, USA.



To determine the safety and efficacy of a graduated dosing scheme of phosphorus replacement therapy in patients with hypophosphatemia receiving specialized nutrition support.


Prospective clinical trial.


A 455-bed tertiary care institution, with Level I trauma designation.


Seventy-eight adult patients, followed and co-managed by a multidisciplinary Nutrition Support Service, with a serum phosphorus concentration of < 3 mg/dL (< 0.97 mmol/L) and no evidence of renal insufficiency, calcium or parathyroid disorders, or obesity.


Patients were enrolled into one of three categories based on their serum phosphorus concentration: mild hypophosphatemia (2.3 to 3 mg/dL [0.74 to 0.97 mmol/L]), moderate hypophosphatemia (1.6 to 2.2 mg/dL [0.52 to 0.71 mmol/L]), or severe hypophosphatemia (< 1.5 mg/dL [< 0.48 mmol/L]). Each patient received one intravenous phosphorus bolus dose, based on the assigned category of hypophosphatemia, according to a graduated dosing scheme: 0.16 mM/kg (mild), 0.32 mM/kg (moderate), or 0.64 mM/kg (severe). Serum/blood concentrations of phosphorus, calcium, albumin, magnesium, urea nitrogen, and creatinine were measured for three consecutive days.


Sixty-seven patients completed the protocol. There were 31 patients with mild hypophosphatemia, 22 patients with moderate hypophosphatemia, and 14 patients with severe hypophosphatemia. Serum phosphorus concentrations increased significantly (p < .001) in all groups after the phosphorus bolus: 2.6 +/- 0.6 to 3.3 +/- 0.6 mg/dL (0.84 +/- 0.19 to 1.1 +/- 0.19 mmol/L) for the mild group; 1.9 +/- 0.6 to 2.7 +/- 0.6 mg/dL (0.61 +/- 0.19 to 0.87 +/- 0.19 mmol/L) for the moderate group; 1.3 +/- 0.8 to 2.3 +/- 0.8 mg/dL (0.42 +/- 0.26 to 0.74 +/- 0.26 mmol/L) for the severe group. There were no clinically significant changes in serum/blood calcium, albumin, urea nitrogen, or creatinine concentrations and no adverse reactions to the phosphorus regimens throughout the 3-day study period.


The graduated dosing scheme of phosphorus replacement therapy is both safe and efficacious in patients receiving specialized nutrition support.

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