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J Child Neurol. 1997 Oct;12(7):443-7.

Vitamin D levels in noninstitutionalized children with cerebral palsy.

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Department of Orthopaedics and Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599-7055, USA.


Calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D) is an important hormone in calcium and phosphate metabolism. Levels of calcitriol and its precursor, 25-hydroxy vitamin D (calcidiol), were measured in a heterogeneous group of 125 noninstitutionalized children and adolescents with spastic cerebral palsy. Levels of each were correlated with: (1) clinical factors including mobility, prior fracture, and use of anticonvulsants; (2) nutrition and growth parameters including skinfolds, body mass index, and use of vitamin supplements; and (3) other serum analyses including osteocalcin as a marker of bone formation, calcium, and alkaline phosphatase. Levels of calcidiol and calcitriol did not correlate with any of the various clinical, nutritional, or growth parameters examined. The prevalence of low (< 10 ng/mL) levels of calcidiol was significant (19%), and dependent on the season of the year in which the level was measured. In contrast, less than 2% of the patients were found to have a low (< 20 pg/mL) level of calcitriol and the mean was comparable to normal pediatric subjects. Levels of calcitriol are maintained in noninstitutionalized children with cerebral palsy despite anticonvulsants, poor nutrition, and calcidiol levels that vary greatly with the seasons.

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