JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Phosphate binders for preventing and treating bone disease in chronic kidney disease patients

Sankar D Navaneethan, Suetonia C Palmer, Mariacristina Vecchio, Jonathan C Craig, Grahame J Elder, Giovanni Fm Strippoli
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011 February 16, (2): CD006023
21328279

BACKGROUND: Phosphate binders are widely used to lower serum phosphorus levels in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) but their impact in CKD remains controversial.

OBJECTIVES: To review the effects of various phosphate binders on biochemical and patient-level end-points in CKD stages 3 to 5D.

SEARCH STRATEGY: In March 2010 we searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Renal Group's Specialised Register and CENTRAL for relevant studies.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-RCTs that assessed the effects of various phosphate binders in adults with CKD.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors independently reviewed search results and extracted data. Results were expressed as mean differences (MD) for continuous outcomes and risk ratios (RR) for dichotomous outcomes with 95% confidence intervals (CI) using a random-effects model.

MAIN RESULTS: Sixty studies (7631 participants) were included. There was no significant reduction in all-cause mortality (10 studies, 3079 participants: RR 0.73, 95% CI 0.46 to 1.16), or serum calcium by phosphorus (Ca x P) product with sevelamer hydrochloride compared to calcium-based agents. There was a significant reduction in serum phosphorus (16 studies, 3126 participants: MD 0.23 mg/dL, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.42) and parathyroid hormone (PTH) (12 studies, 2551 participants; MD 56 pg/mL, 95% CI 26 to 84) but a significant increase in the risk of hypercalcaemia (12 studies, 1144 participants: RR 0.45, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.59) with calcium-based agents compared to sevelamer hydrochloride. There was a significant increase in the risk of adverse gastrointestinal events with sevelamer hydrochloride in comparison to calcium salts (5 studies, 498 participants: RR 1.58, 95% CI 1.11 to 2.25). Compared with calcium-based agents, lanthanum significantly reduced serum calcium (2 studies, 122 participants: MD -0.30 mg/dL, 95% CI -0.64 to -0.25) and the Ca x P product, but not serum phosphorus levels. The effects of calcium acetate on biochemical end-points were similar to those of calcium carbonate. The phosphorus lowering effects of novel agents such as ferric citrate, colestilan and niacinamide were only reported in a few studies.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Available phosphate-binding agents have been shown to reduce phosphorus levels in comparison to placebo. However, there are insufficient data to establish the comparative superiority of novel non-calcium binding agents over calcium-containing phosphate binders for patient-level outcomes such as all-cause mortality and cardiovascular end-points in CKD.

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