Vitamin D insufficiency is commonly associated with hip fracture. However, the equipotency of ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol supplementation in this patient group has not been studied in a randomized trial using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) measurement of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD). The objective of this study was to determine if ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol are equipotent therapies in vitamin D-insufficient hip fracture patients. Ninety five hip fracture inpatients with vitamin D insufficiency (25OHD < 50 nmol/L) were randomized, double-blind, to treatment with ergocalciferol 1000 IU/day (n = 48) or cholecalciferol 1000 IU/day (n = 47) for three months. All participants were also given a placebo matching the alternative treatment to maintain blinding of treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was total serum 25OHD measured by HPLC. Secondary endpoints included 25OHD measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA), intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH), and bioactive (1-84) whole PTH (wPTH). Seventy patients (74%) completed the study with paired samples for analysis. Cholecalciferol supplementation resulted in a 31% greater increase in total HPLC-measured 25OHD (p = 0.010) and 52% greater rise in RIA-measured 25OHD (p < 0.001) than supplementation with an equivalent dose of ergocalciferol. Changes in iPTH and wPTH were not significantly different between calciferol treatments (p > 0.05). In vitamin D-insufficient hip fracture patients, supplementation with cholecalciferol 1000 IU/day for three months was more effective in increasing serum 25OHD than an equivalent dose of ergocalciferol. However, the lack of difference in PTH lowering between calciferol treatments raises questions about the biological importance of this observation. Crown Copyright © 2009.
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