Calcium and vitamin D in sarcoidosis: is supplementation safe?

Lieke S Kamphuis*, Femke Bonte-Mineur, Jan A van Laar, P Martin van Hagen, Paul L van Daele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Granulomas in sarcoidosis express high levels of 1α-hydroxylase, an enzyme that catalyzes the hydroxylation of 25-OH vitamin D to its active form, 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D. Overproduction of 1α-hydroxylase is held responsible for the development of hypercalcemia in sarcoidosis patients. Corticosteroids are used as first-line treatment in organ-threatening sarcoidosis. In this light, osteoporosis prevention with calcium and vitamin D (CAD) supplementation is often warranted. However, sarcoidosis patients are at risk for hypercalcemia, and CAD supplementation affects the calcium metabolism. We studied calcium and vitamin D disorders in a large cohort of sarcoidosis patients and investigated if CAD supplementation is safe. Retrospectively, data of 301 sarcoidosis patients from July 1986 to June 2009 were analyzed for serum calcium, 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25-(OH)D), 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D (1,25(OH)2 D), and use of CAD supplementation. Disease activity of sarcoidosis was compared with serum levels of vitamin D. Hypercalcemia occurred in 8%. A significant negative correlation was found between 25-(OH)D and disease activity of sarcoidosis measured by somatostatin receptor scintigraphy. In our study, 5 of the 104 CAD-supplemented patients developed hypercalcemia, but CAD supplementation was not the cause of hypercalcemia. Patients without CAD supplementation were at higher risk for developing hypercalcemia. During CAD supplementation, no hypercalcemia developed as a result of supplementation. Hypovitaminosis D seems to be related with more disease activity of sarcoidosis and, therefore, could be a potential risk factor for disease activity of sarcoidosis. Thus, vitamin D-deficient sarcoidosis patients should be supplemented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2498-2503
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

Bibliographical note

© 2014 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

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  • EMC MM-02-72-02


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