Calcium Acetate Control of Serum Phosphorus in Hemodialysis Patients

Michael Emmett, Maryella D. Sirmon, Wanda G. Kirkpatrick, Charles R. Nolan, Gunther W. Schmitt, Mark v.B. Cleveland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Calcium acetate has many characteristics of an ideal phosphorus binder. It is a readily soluble salt that avidly binds phosphorus in vitro at pH 5 and above. One-dose/one-meal balance studies show it to be more potent than calcium carbonate or calcium citrate. We studied chronic (3-month) phosphorus binding with calcium acetate in 91 hyperphosphatemic dialysis patients at four different centers. All phosphorus binders were stopped for 2 weeks. Calcium acetate at an initial dose of 8.11 mmol (325 mg Ca2+) per meal was then used as the only phosphorus binder. Dose was adjusted to attempt control of predialysis phosphorus level less than 1.78 mmol/L (5.5 mg/100 mL). Final calcium acetate dose was 14.6 mmol (586 mg) Ca2+ per meal. Sixteen patients developed mild transient hypercalcemia (mean, 2.84 mmol/L [11.4 mg/dL]. Initial phosphorus values in mmol/L (mg/dL) were 2.39 (7.4); at 1 month, 1.91(5.9); and at 3 months, 1.68 (5.2). Initial calcium values in mmol/L (mg/dL) were 2.22 (8.9); at 1 month, 2.37 (9.5); and at 3 months, 2.42 (9.7). Initial aluminum values in μmol/L (μg/L) were 2.99 (80.7); and at 3 months were 2.54 (68.4). Initial C-terminal parathyroid hormone (C-PTH) values in nglmL were 14.6; at 1 month, 11.9; and at 3 months, 13.2. Sixty-nine patients then entered a double-blind study. Phosphorus binders were stopped for 1 week. Calcium acetate (at a dose established in a prior study) or placebo was then administered for 2 weeks. Next, patients were crossed to the opposite regimen for 2 weeks. Initial phosphorus was 2.36 mmol/L (7.3 mg/100 mL) and calcium 2.22 mmol/L (8.9 mg/100 mL). Calcium acetate reduced phosphorus to 1.91 mmol/L (5.9 mg/100 mL) and increased calcium to 2.37 mmol/L (9.5 mg/1 00 mL) (both P < 0.01). Placebo had no effect. Calcium acetate at an average dose of 14.6 mmol (586 mg) Ca2+ per meal controlled serum phosphorus in an unselected group of dialysis patients. Aluminum and C-PTH levels decreased. The drug was well tolerated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)544-550
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcium acetate
  • aluminum
  • hyperphosphatemia
  • phosphorous binders
  • renal osteodystrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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