JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

A new era in phosphate binder therapy: what are the options?

I B Salusky
Kidney International. Supplement 2006, (105): S10-5
17136110
Dietary restriction of phosphorus and current dialysis prescription are unable to maintain phosphorus levels within the recommended range (2.7-5.5 mg/dl) in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). Therefore, phosphate binders that limit the absorption of dietary phosphorus are commonly prescribed for this patient group. The first phosphate binders were introduced more than 30 years ago and included aluminum salts; however, although effective binders, the use of these agents was subsequently restricted because of concerns over aluminum accumulation in the central nervous system, bone, and hematopoietic cells. In subsequent years, calcium salts, namely calcium carbonate and calcium acetate, became the most widely used phosphate binders; however, increasing evidence now suggests that prolonged use of these agents increases the total body calcium load, induces adynamic bone, and potentially increases the risk of cardiovascular and soft tissue calcification. Sevelamer is the first phosphate-binding agent that is non-absorbed, calcium-free, and metal-free. To date, this agent has been shown to effectively control serum phosphorus levels in patients with CKD. It may also attenuate coronary and aortic calcification and has a number of other beneficial effects on lipid metabolism and inflammation among others. Lanthanum carbonate is another new agent that is reported to provide similar phosphate control to calcium-based phosphate binders but concerns that the long-term administration of such compound may lead to tissue accumulation may limit its use.

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