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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 1998 Oct;13(10):2566-71.

The influence of hyperinsulinaemia on calcium-phosphate metabolism in renal failure.

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  • 1Department of Nephrology, Silesian University School of Medicine, Katowice, Poland.



Patients with renal failure are characterized by impaired insulin-mediated glucose uptake. Insulin plays a major role in the maintenance of phosphate homeostasis but it remains to be determined whether in uraemia insulin-dependent renal and extrarenal phosphate disposal is also affected.


The effect of hyperinsulinaemia on serum concentrations of phosphate, ionized calcium and intact PTH as well as renal excretion of calcium and phosphate was studied under euglycaemic conditions (glucose clamp technique) in patients with advanced renal failure and in healthy subjects. Fifteen patients with renal failure (mean serum creatinine 917 micromol/l) and 12 control subjects were included. All subjects underwent a 3-h euglycaemic clamp with constant infusion of insulin (50 mU/m2/min) following a priming bolus. The urine was collected for 3 h before and throughout the clamp.


The tissue insulin sensitivity (M/I) was lower in patients with renal failure than in control subjects (5.3+/-2.4 vs 6.7+/-1.8mg/kg/min per mU/ml, P= 0.001) but the phosphate lowering action of insulin was larger in patients with renal failure than in control subjects. Urinary calcium excretion increased (P < 0.05) and phosphate excretion did not change during the clamp in both groups. Despite a decrease of serum ionized calcium in the group of patients with renal failure and no change in the control group, plasma PTH fell significantly in both groups but this effect was still significant after 180 min only in the renal failure group. A significant correlation was observed between changes in serum phosphate and PTH induced by hyperinsulinaemia (r = 0.48, P < 0.01 )


Phosphate-lowering effect of insulin is well preserved in severe renal failure despite the resistance to insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. The decrease of serum PTH observed during hyperinsulinaemia appears to be independent of serum ionized calcium.

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