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Study: Improved testing technique could detect parathyroid hormone imbalances in dialysis patients

October 31, 2013
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A new testing method can better detect potentially fatal parathyroid hormone imbalances in patients with end-stage renal disease, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

"The current tests for parathyroid hormone levels overlook a key factor," said the study's lead author, Berthod Hocher, MD, PhD, of the University of Potsdam in Potsdam-Rehbrücke, Germany. "When parathyroid hormone interacts with oxygen under conditions of stress such as end-stage kidney disease, it becomes biologically inactive. Our new approach is the first to differentiate between non-oxidized, biologically active parathyroid hormone and oxidized parathyroid hormone. This will result in better monitoring and treatment for patients who have end-stage renal disease."

(Behavioral therapy during dialysis sessions might combat depression among kidney failure patients, study shows)

Researchers conducted a prospective cohort study to test this approach. The study authors monitored a group of 340 dialysis patients over the course of a five-year period. Researchers tested blood samples from the patients to determine their parathyroid hormone levels. During the course of the follow-up period, 170 participants died, many from cardiovascular disease, infections or cancer.

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