Hypercalcemia and hyperparathyroidism in patients receiving maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) can cause the progression of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and mineral bone disorders (MBD). The KDIGO recommends the dialysates with a calcium (Ca) concentration of 1.25-1.5 mmol/L for MHD treatments, but the optimal concentration remains controversial. Here, we conducted a systematic review and a meta-Analysis of seven randomized controlled trials examining a total of 622 patients to investigate the optimal concentration for MHD for 6 months or longer. The dialysates with a low Ca concentration (1.125 or 1.25 mmol/L) significantly lowered the serum Ca and raised the intact parathyroid hormone levels by 0.52 mg/dL (95% confidence interval, 0.20-0.85) and 39.59 pg/mL (14.80-64.38), respectively, compared with a high Ca concentration (1.50 or 1.75 mmol/L). Three studies showed that a low concentration was preferred for lowering arterial calcifications or atherosclerosis in different arteries, but one study showed that coronary arterial calcifications increased with a low concentration. Two studies showed contradictory outcomes in terms of MBD. Our meta-Analysis showed that a dialysate with a low Ca concentration lowered the serum Ca levels in patients receiving long-Term MHD, but further studies are needed to determine the optimal Ca concentration in terms of CVD and MBD.
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