Accumulation of aluminum in bone is a frequent finding in patients requiring chronic dialysis and is associated with considerable morbidity and/or mortality. Until now, evidence seemed to point to relatively low circulating levels of parathyroid hormone as a contributing factor, but because levels of parathyroid hormone and calcitriol are interrelated, calcitriol might be also involved. In this study, we employed an animal model to evaluate the single and combined effects of parathyroid hormone and calcitriol on bone aluminum accumulation. The results show significantly less aluminum accumulation in calcitriol-replete dogs independent of the presence or absence of parathyroid hormone. These results indicate that low levels of calcitriol may play a role in the development of aluminum related bone disease. Further studies are needed to demonstrate whether administration of calcitriol in patients with renal insufficiency will prevent development of aluminum-related bone disease.
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