Journal Article

Does the choice of phosphate binder affect trace element levels in chronic kidney disease patients treated by regular haemodialysis?

Kristin Veighey, John Booth and Andrew Davenport

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 26, issue 3, pages 1006-1010
Published in print March 2011 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online August 2010 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Does the choice of phosphate binder affect trace element levels in chronic kidney disease patients treated by regular haemodialysis?

Show Summary Details


Background. Ion exchange resins have been reported to bind copper and zinc. As the phosphate binder sevelamer hydrochloride is an ion exchange resin, we audited trace element levels in our haemodialysis cohort to determine whether sevelamer prescription affected trace element levels compared with other phosphate binders.

Methods. Samples for zinc, copper and selenium were taken in special tubes and measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy or inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry from 211 patients attending an inner city university hospital main dialysis centre.

Results. Of the patients, 12.9% were prescribed oral or intravenous trace element supplementation. Of the remainder, 5.5% of patients had low plasma copper, 37.4% low zinc and 45.6% low selenium. There was no difference in copper (16.7 ± 0.2 vs 16.8 ± 0.4 μmol/L, respectively) and zinc (12.0 ± 0.3 vs 11.6 ± 0.2 μmol/L) comparing patients prescribed sevelamer compared with other phosphate binders. Despite a high prevalence of statin prescription, total cholesterol (3.42 ± 0.12 vs 3.89 ± 0.08, P < 0.01), LDL-cholesterol (1.46 ± 0.1 vs 2.00 ± 0.07, P < 0.01) and total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol ratio (2.82 ± 0.15 vs 3.5216.7 ± 0.2 vs 16.8 ± 0.4 μmol/L, P < 0.01) were lower in the sevelamer group compared with those prescribed other phosphate binders. On logistic regression analysis, serum zinc levels were associated with serum albumin (F 20.36, β 0.174, CL 0.086–0.265, P < 0.001) and dialysis vintage (F 8.1, β 0.008, CL 0.002–0.013, P = 0.005), copper levels with log CRP (F 31.4, β 3.04, CL 0–1.97, P < 0.001) and urine volume (F 5.1, β − 0.01, CL − 0.002–0, P = 0.024), and selenium levels with serum albumin (F 23.2, β 0.016, CL 0.02–0.1, P < 0.001) and race (F 31.4, β 3.62, P = 0.032), with selenium levels being greater in non-Caucasoids (0.9 ± 0.02 vs 0.76 ± 0.02 μmol/L, P < 0.01).

Conclusions. Trace element and micronutrient deficiencies were relatively common in this inner city population of outpatient haemodialysis patients. However, the prescription of different phosphate binders did not have an observable effect on serum copper and zinc levels, but those prescribed sevelamer did have lower lipid profiles compared with those prescribed other phosphate binders. Trace element concentrations were more associated with albumin, a marker of general nutritional status, with some differences according to ethnicity, most likely due to differences in dietary intake.

Keywords: copper; haemodialysis; phosphate binders; selenium; zinc

Journal Article.  3355 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.