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1.  Correction of vitamin D deficiency in critically ill patients - VITdAL@ICU study protocol of a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial 
Background
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with multiple adverse health outcomes including increased morbidity and mortality in the general population and in critically ill patients. However, no randomized controlled trial has evaluated so far whether treatment with sufficiently large doses of vitamin D can improve clinical outcome of patients in an intensive care setting.
Methods/design
The VITdAL@ICU trial is an investigator-initiated, non-commercial, double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial. This study compares high-dose oral cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) versus placebo treatment in a mixed population of 480 critically ill patients with low 25-hydroxyvitamin-D levels at study enrollment (≤ 20ng/ml). Following an initial loading dose of 540,000 IU of vitamin D3, patients receive 90,000 IU of vitamin D3 on a monthly basis for 5 months. The study is designed to compare clinical outcome in the two study arms with the primary endpoint being length of hospital stay. Secondary endpoints include among others length of ICU stay, the percentage of patients with 25(OH)D levels > 30 ng/ml at day 7, ICU and hospital mortality and duration of mechanical ventilation. We describe here the VITdAL@ICU study protocol for the primary report.
Discussion
This trial is designed to evaluate whether high-dose vitamin D3 is able to improve morbidity and mortality in a mixed population of adult critically ill patients and correct vitamin D deficiency safely.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials: NCT01130181
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-12-27
PMCID: PMC3534412  PMID: 23134762
Critical Illness; Vitamin D deficiency; Cholecalciferol; Vitamin D; Critical care; Intensive care; Vitamin D3
2.  Short-term effects of high-dose oral vitamin D3 in critically ill vitamin D deficient patients: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study 
Critical Care  2011;15(2):R104.
Introduction
Vitamin D deficiency is encountered frequently in critically ill patients and might be harmful. Current nutrition guidelines recommend very low vitamin D doses. The objective of this trial was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a single oral high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation in an intensive care setting over a one-week observation period.
Methods
This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study in a medical ICU at a tertiary care university center in Graz, Austria. Twenty-five patients (mean age 62 ± 16yrs) with vitamin D deficiency [25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) ≤20 ng/ml] and an expected stay in the ICU >48 hours were included and randomly received either 540,000 IU (corresponding to 13.5 mg) of cholecalciferol (VITD) dissolved in 45 ml herbal oil or matched placebo (PBO) orally or via feeding tube.
Results
The mean serum 25(OH)D increase in the intervention group was 25 ng/ml (range 1-47 ng/ml). The highest 25(OH)D level reached was 64 ng/ml, while two patients showed a small (7 ng/ml) or no response (1 ng/ml). Hypercalcemia or hypercalciuria did not occur in any patient. From day 0 to day 7, total serum calcium levels increased by 0.10 (PBO) and 0.15 mmol/L (VITD; P < 0.05 for both), while ionized calcium levels increased by 0.11 (PBO) and 0.05 mmol/L (VITD; P < 0.05 for both). Parathyroid hormone levels decreased by 19 and 28 pg/ml (PBO and VITD, ns) over the seven days, while 1,25(OH)D showed a transient significant increase in the VITD group only.
Conclusions
This pilot study shows that a single oral ultra-high dose of cholecalciferol corrects vitamin D deficiency within 2 days in most patients without causing adverse effects like hypercalcemia or hypercalciuria. Further research is needed to confirm our results and establish whether vitamin D supplementation can affect the clinical outcome of vitamin D deficient critically ill patients.
EudraCT Number
2009-012080-34
German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS)
DRKS00000750
doi:10.1186/cc10120
PMCID: PMC3219377  PMID: 21443793
3.  Pharmacokinetics of Teriparatide (rhPTH[1–34]) and Calcium Pharmacodynamics in Postmenopausal Women with Osteoporosis 
Calcified Tissue International  2010;87(6):485-492.
Teriparatide (rhPTH[1–34]) affects calcium metabolism in a pattern consistent with the known actions of endogenous parathyroid hormone (PTH). This report describes the pharmacokinetics and resulting serum calcium response to teriparatide in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Pharmacokinetic samples for this analysis were obtained from 360 women who participated in the Fracture Prevention Trial. Postmenopausal women with osteoporosis received daily subcutaneous injections of either teriparatide 20 μg (4.86 μmol) or placebo, median 21 months’ treatment. Serum teriparatide and calcium concentrations were measured throughout the study. An indirect-response model was developed to describe the pharmacokinetic–pharmacodynamic relationship between teriparatide concentrations and serum calcium response. The pharmacokinetics of teriparatide were characterized by rapid absorption (maximum concentration achieved within 30 min) and rapid elimination (half-life of 1 h), resulting in a total duration of exposure to the peptide of approximately 4 h. Teriparatide transiently increased serum calcium, with the maximum effect observed at approximately 4.25 h (median increase 0.4 mg/dl [0.1 mmol/l]). Calcium concentrations returned to predose levels by 16–24 h after each dose. Persistent hypercalcemia was not observed; one teriparatide 20 μg-treated patient had a predose serum calcium value above the normal range but <11.0 mg/dl (2.75 mmol/l). Following once-daily subcutaneous administration, teriparatide produces a modest but transient increase in serum calcium, consistent with the known effects of endogenous PTH on mineral metabolism. The excursion in serum calcium is brief, due to the short length of time that teriparatide concentrations are elevated.
doi:10.1007/s00223-010-9424-6
PMCID: PMC2978887  PMID: 20953593
Anabolic agent; Osteoporosis therapy; Peptide hormone; Parathyroid hormone; Teriparatide pharmacokinetics; Calcium pharmacodynamics
4.  Vitamin D deficiency following Billroth II surgery - How much vitamin D is enough?: a case report 
Cases Journal  2010;3:12.
Background
Vitamin D deficiency with all its consequences is a global health problem.
Case Presentation
We reported a 62-year-old Caucasian woman with alcohol-related liver cirrhosis (Child class A) and a medical history of Billroth II surgery. Although she has taken an oral dose of 16 800 IU vitamin D daily for six weeks to normalise her 25-hydroxyvitamin D level the raise was only moderate.
Conclusion
High-dose oral or parenteral vitamin D therapy is necessary to gain sufficient 25-hydroxyvitamin D serum levels in patients following gastric surgery.
doi:10.1186/1757-1626-3-12
PMCID: PMC2828992  PMID: 20180946
5.  Graz Endocrine Causes of Hypertension (GECOH) study: a diagnostic accuracy study of aldosterone to active renin ratio in screening for primary aldosteronism 
Background
Primary aldosteronism (PA) affects approximately 5 to 10% of all patients with arterial hypertension and is associated with an excess rate of cardiovascular complications that can be significantly reduced by a targeted treatment. There exists a general consensus that the aldosterone to renin ratio should be used as a screening tool but valid data about the accuracy of the aldosterone to renin ratio in screening for PA are sparse. In the Graz endocrine causes of hypertension (GECOH) study we aim to prospectively evaluate diagnostic procedures for PA.
Methods and design
In this single center, diagnostic accuracy study we will enrol 400 patients that are routinely referred to our tertiary care center for screening for endocrine hypertension. We will determine the aldosterone to active renin ratio (AARR) as a screening test. In addition, all study participants will have a second determination of the AARR and will undergo a saline infusion test (SIT) as a confirmatory test. PA will be diagnosed in patients with at least one AARR of ≥ 5.7 ng/dL/ng/L (including an aldosterone concentration of ≥ 9 ng/dL) who have an aldosterone level of ≥ 10 ng/dL after the saline infusion test. As a primary outcome we will calculate the receiver operating characteristic curve of the AARR in diagnosing PA. Secondary outcomes include the test characteristics of the saline infusion test involving a comparison with 24 hours urine aldosterone levels and the accuracy of the aldosterone to renin activity ratio in diagnosing PA. In addition we will evaluate whether the use of beta-blockers significantly alters the accuracy of the AARR and we will validate our laboratory methods for aldosterone and renin.
Conclusion
Screening for PA with subsequent targeted treatment is of great potential benefit for hypertensive patients. In the GECOH study we will evaluate a standardised procedure for screening and diagnosing of this disease.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-9-11
PMCID: PMC2671510  PMID: 19351411
6.  Vitamin D Deficiency and Secondary Hyperparathyroidism Are Common Complications in Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease 
OBJECTIVE
To investigate via the vitamin D status whether patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) tend to develop vitamin D deficiency that in turn influences their clinical symptoms.
DESIGN
Cross-sectional.
SETTING
University hospital.
PATIENTS AND PARTICIPANTS
Three hundred twenty-seven patients were evaluated; subjects with secondary causes of bone disease or bone active medication were excluded. One hundred sixty-one patients with either PAD stage II (n = 84) or stage IV (n = 77) were enrolled and compared to 45 age- and sex-matched healthy controls.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
All patients underwent determinations of serum chemistry, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (vitamin D3) intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and osteocalcin and were further stratified according to an individual restriction score into 3 groups: mildly, moderately, or severely restricted in daily life due to the underlying disease. Patients with PAD IV showed significantly lower vitamin D3 (P = .0001), and calcium (P = .0001) values and significantly higher iPTH (P = .0001), osteocalcin (P = .0001) and ALP (P = .02) levels as compared to patients with PAD II. Patients considering themselves as severely restricted due to the underlying disease showed lower vitamin D3 and higher iPTH levels than those who described only a moderate (vitamin D3: P < .001; iPTH: P < .01) or mild (vitamin D3: P < .001; iPTH: P < .001) restriction in daily life.
CONCLUSION
Patients with PAD IV, especially those who feel severely restricted due to the disease, are at high risk of developing vitamin D deficiency, secondary hyperparathyroidism, and ultimately osteomalacia due to immobilization and subsequent lack of exposure to sunlight, all of which in turn lead to further deterioration. Monitoring of vitamin D metabolism and vitamin D replacement therapy could be a simple, inexpensive approach to mitigating clinical symptoms and improving quality of life in patients with advanced PAD.
doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.2002.11033.x
PMCID: PMC1495101  PMID: 12220361
vitamin D3; secondary hyperparathyroidism; osteomalacia; immobilization; peripheral arterial disease

Results 1-6 (6)