Calcimimetics versus parathyroidectomy: What is preferable?
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Secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) is common among patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). SHPT is associated with high-turnover bone disease, interstitial and vascular calcifications, cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The pharmacological management of SHPT has progressed in recent years. The introduction of targeted therapies, such as selective vitamin D receptors activators and calcium-sensing receptor modulators, offers an increased opportunity to adequately control elevated parathyroid hormone (PTH), especially in patients with chronic kidney disease under dialysis treatment. Calcimimetic medications such as cinacalcet negatively feedback on the parathyroid glands and do not have the consequences of calcium augmentation. However, there are no randomised, prospective data that demonstrate improved quality of life, improvement in anemia, reduction in phosphate binders, reduction in use of vitamin D analogs, or reduction in mortality. Literature supports cinacalcet therapy to improve patient outcomes, especially with regard to vascular calcifications and presumably the very lethal condition of calciphylaxis. However, cinacalcet is administered orally and has been associated with gastrointestinal intolerance along with hypocalcemia. In addition, poor adherence has been observed among dialysis patients self-administering oral cinacalcet. On the other hand, successful surgical parathyroidectomy (sPTX) can yield a dramatic reduction in PTH level and clinical symptoms. The advanced pharmacological treatments of SHPT often obviate parathyroidectomy; however, some researchers have reported that sPTX may be more cost-effective than cinacalcet in some patients with ESRD and suffering uncontrolled SHPT.
KeywordsDialysis Secondary hyperparathyroidism Parathyroidectomy Calcimimetic
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.
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