Archives of Osteoporosis

, 13:114 | Cite as

Calcitriol treatment in patients with low vitamin D levels

  • Refik TanakolEmail author
  • Nurdan Gül
  • Ayşe Kubat Üzüm
  • Ferihan Aral
Original Article



The aim of the the study is to compare the effects of cholecalciferol and calcitriol on bone mineral metabolism in women with vitamin D deficiency. Calcitriol was associated with a significant increase in bone mineral density at the lumbar spine in patients with low vitamin D levels.


Active vitamin D analogs may have larger impact in decreasing bone loss and fracture rate compared to cholecalciferol in osteoporosis. However, their effects in the treatment of vitamin D deficiency compared to cholecalciferol are not clear. The aim of the present study is to compare the effects of cholecalciferol and calcitriol on bone mineral metabolism and bone mineral density in pre- and postmenopausal women with vitamin D deficiency.


This was a 6-month prospective, open-label, controlled clinical trial. Eligible 120 participants were pre- and postmenopausal women diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency. Forty-three subjects (group 1) received 1000 IU of cholecalciferol and 1 g of calcium daily. The other 77 subjects (group 2) received 0.5 μg calcitriol in addition to 400 IU of cholecalciferol and 1 g of calcium daily.


Oral vitamin D supplementation did not increase bone mineral density after 6 months of intervention in group 1. On the other hand, bone mineral density at the lumbar spine increased from 0.809 ± 0.172 to 0.848 ± 0.161 g/cm2 in group 2 patients (p < 0.017 vs baseline).


Oral daily calcitriol was associated with a significant increase in bone mineral density at the lumbar spine in patients with low vitamin D, elevated PTH, and osteoporosis.


Calcitriol Vitamin D deficiency Osteoporosis Cholecalciferol Bone mineral density 


Funding information

Refik Tanakol declares no competing financial interest and certifies that no funding has been received for the conduct of this study and/or preparation of this manuscript.

Nurdan Gül declares no competing financial interest and certifies that no funding has been received for the conduct of this study and/or preparation of this manuscript.

Ayşe Kubat Üzüm declares no competing financial interest and certifies that no funding has been received for the conduct of this study and/or preparation of this manuscript.

Ferihan Aral declares no competing financial interest and certifies that no funding has been received for the conduct of this study and/or preparation of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was conducted in full compliance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. Ethical approval was obtained from Ethics Committee of Istanbul Faculty of Medicine (Dean’s approval and Ethics Committee ref. No. 467 70954-700-2017-551) [12]. Written informed consent for participation was obtained from participants or, where participants are children, a parent or guardian.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Refik Tanakol
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nurdan Gül
    • 1
  • Ayşe Kubat Üzüm
    • 1
  • Ferihan Aral
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Endocrinology and MetabolismIstanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of MedicineIstanbulTurkey

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