Background: Serum phosphate and vitamin D receptor activator regulate fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), and iron may modulate FGF23 metabolism. The aim of the present study was to elucidate the effects of ferric citrate hydrate and lanthanum carbohydrate on serum FGF23 levels in hemodialysis patients. Methods: This prospective, open-label, multicenter study enrolled 60 patients on hemodialysis treated with lanthanum carbonate. Patients were randomly assigned to 2 groups: those switching from lanthanum carbonate to ferric citrate hydrate (ferric citrate group, n = 30) or those continuing lanthanum carbonate (control group, n = 30). Patients were monitored for 24 weeks. Endpoints included changes in FGF23, phosphate, and the dose of erythropoiesis stimulating agent (ESA), erythropoietin responsiveness index (ERI), and adverse events. Results: FGF-23 levels were significantly lower in the ferric citrate group compared with the levels in the control group (change from baseline –6,160 vs. –1,118 pg/mL; p = 0.026). There were no significant changes in serum calcium, phosphate, and intact parathyroid hormone levels in either group. The ferric citrate group had significantly increased serum iron, ferritin, and transferrin saturation. Hemoglobin levels were significantly elevated, and the dose of ESA was significantly decreased in the ferric citrate group but not in the control group. ERI and the dose of intravenous saccharated ferric oxide were significantly lower in the ferric citrate group compared with those of the control group (p = 0.015 and p = 0.002). Conclusion: In patients on hemodialysis, 24-week treatment with ferric citrate hydrate resulted in significant reduction in FGF23 and ERI independently of serum phosphate level.

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