Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among idiopathic stone formers, but does correction pose any risk?

Pietro Manuel Ferraro, Giovanni Gambaro, Nikhil Johri, Philippe Jaeger, Linda Shavit, Devaki Nair, William G. Robertson, Robert J. Unwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


While vitamin D (vitD) deficiency is thought to contribute to poor health in a variety of ways and should be corrected, there is still concern about giving vitD supplements to patients with a history of nephrolithiasis. The aim is to study the prevalence of vitD deficiency and the effect on stone risk of cholecalciferol (vitD3) supplementation in a cohort of idiopathic stone formers (ISF). We screened for vitD deficiency and urinary measures of stone risk, comparing vitD deficient (serum 25-OH vitD ≤30 nmol/L; ≤12 ng/mL) with vitD insufficient (31–75 nmol/L; 13–30 ng/mL) or vitD replete (>75 nmol/L; >30 ng/mL); we investigated the effect of giving vitD3 (20,000 IU orally, weekly for 4 months) to 37 of the vitD deficients. Thirty-one percent (142/456) were vitD deficient, 57% (259/456) vitD insufficient, and the rest (12%) vitD replete (55/456). Comparison among the groups showed that baseline 24-h urinary measures related to stone risk expressed as concentration ratios over urine creatinine (Cr), such as U. Calcium/Cr, U. Oxalate/Cr, U. Citrate/Cr, and U. Uric acid/Cr were not significantly different. VitD3 supplementation did significantly increase serum 25-OH vitD levels and U. Phosphate/Cr ratios, as well as reduce serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations. Following vitD3 supplementation, there was an overall rise in 24-h urine calcium excretion, but it failed to reach statistical significance (p = 0.06). U. Calcium/Cr increased in 22 out of 37 patients (average increase +0.07 mmol/mmol), decreased in 14 (average decrease −0.13 mmol/mmol), and remained unchanged in 1; 6 out of 26 initially normocalciuric ISF developed hypercalciuria; and 6 out of 9 patients who became vitD replete were hypercalciuric after supplementation. It is appropriate to monitor urinary Ca excretion in vitD-supplemented stone formers, because it may reveal underlying hypercalciuria in some treated patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Calcium
  • Kidney
  • Nephrolithiasis
  • Renal stones
  • Urology
  • Vitamin D


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