Role of albumin assay on calcium levels and prescription of phosphate binders in chronic hemodialysis patients

Camiel L.M. De Roij Van Zuijdewijn, Dinky E. De Haseth, Bastiaan Van Dam, Willem A. Bax, Muriel P.C. Grooteman, Michiel L. Bots, Peter J. Blankestijn, Menso J. Nubé, Marinus A. Van Den Dorpel, Pieter M. Ter Wee, Erik L. Penne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background/aims: In hemodialysis (HD) patients, the bromcresol green (BCG) assay overestimates, whereas the bromcresol purple (BCP) assay underestimates albumin concentration. Since corrected calcium concentrations depend on albumin, the albumin assay may have implications for the management of bone mineral disorders. Methods: A subset of patients from CONTRAST, a cohort of prevalent HD patients, was analyzed. Bone mineral parameters and prescription of medication were compared between patients in whom albumin was assessed by BCP versus BCG. Results: Albumin was assessed by BCP in 331 patients (9 of 25 centers) and by BCG in 175 patients (16 of 25 centers). Albumin was the lowest in the BCP group (34.5 ± 4.2 vs. 40.3 ± 3.1 g/L; p < 0.0005). Measured calcium levels and the prescription of calcium-based phosphate binders were similar in both groups. Corrected calcium levels, however, were markedly higher in the BCP group (2.45 ± 0.18 vs. 2.33 ± 0.18 mmol/L; p < 0.0005). Conclusion: These findings suggest that calcium levels are not corrected for albumin in clinical practice when considering the prescription of calcium-free or calcium-based phosphate-binders in dialysis patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-217
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

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