Renal Osteodystrophy: A Fresh Approach

Grants and Contracts Details


Renal osteodystrophy (ROD) represents the bone histologic abnormalities resulting from loss of renal function. It starts early during the loss of kidney function and is seen in virtually all chronic end stage kidney disease patients on dialysis (CKD-5D). A major component of ROD is bone loss leading to CKD-associated osteoporosis. Debilitating hip fractures occur in patients with CKD at a rate 4.4 times higher than in the general population, with associated high costs, morbidity and an annual mortality of 64%. CKD osteoporosis is distinctly different from post-menopausal osteoporosis. Presently, no uniformly accepted CKD osteoporosis treatment protocol exists, and most physicians are reluctant to treat this disorder despite the profound impact on health and quality of life, and its association with vascular calcifications. These vascular calcifications confer an increased risk for cardiovascular events which are the major cause of the over 20% annual mortality rate in CKD-5D patients. The goal of the proposed controlled randomized study is to test the concept that CKD osteoporosis can be successfully treated when treatment is individualized by patients’ turnover status. The study will demonstrate that reversal of bone loss can be achieved by increasing bone formation in low turnover patients, and by reducing bone resorption in normal or high turnover patients. A second aim of this study is to provide new information whether these treatments will not only improve bone mass, but also retard progression of vascular calcifications. Novel blood tests will be followed to understand potential mechanisms and to evaluate their usefulness for prediction of changes in bone mass and vascular calcifications. CKD-5D patients with established osteoporosis will be enrolled into one of two treatment arms based on bone turnover status. Each arm will be adaptively randomized by race, age and gender into treatment or control groups. In the low turnover arm, teriparatide combined with cinacalcet will be given, and in the normal or high turnover arm, alendronate will be administered. Bone mineral density will be measured at baseline and after one year of treatment by dual X-ray absoptiometry and quantitative computed tomography. Calcifications of the coronaries, aorta and heart valves will also be measured at the same times by multi-detector computed tomography. If this proof-of-concept study is successful, it will offer a heretofore unavailable treatment for osteoporosis in CKD-5D patients thus changing the prevailing clinical practice paradigm. This will provide immediate benefit to CKD patients by reducing fracture risk and bone pain, while greatly improving their quality of life. Reduction in fractures will convey a major socioeconomic benefit by decreasing the high associated treatment costs. These benefits are highly relevant to the NIDDK’s mission of disseminating science-based information to improve the health and quality of life for patients with endocrine, metabolic and kidney diseases.
Effective start/end date4/1/086/30/21


  • National Institute Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney: $3,165,353.00


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