Oral Sodium Bicarbonate and Bone Turnover in CKD: A Secondary Analysis of the BASE Pilot Trial

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN








SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: In CKD, metabolic acidosis is commonly treated with alkali in the hope that it will improve bone health. In a post hoc analysis of the Bicarbonate Administration to Stabilize eGFR Pilot Trial, we investigated whether sodium bicarbonate affects serum levels of bone turnover markers and other hormones related to bone health in individuals with CKD who have normal to slightly reduced total CO2 (20-28 mEq/L). Sodium bicarbonate increased serum levels of α-klotho but had no significant effect on other bone health markers, including intact fibroblast growth factor-23 (iFGF-23), intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH), and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (B-SAP). Further study is needed to determine the effect of bicarbonate administration on clinical aspects of bone health. BACKGROUND: Treatment with alkali has been hypothesized to improve bone health in CKD by mitigating adverse effects of acid on bone mineral. We investigated the effect of treatment with sodium bicarbonate on bone turnover markers and other factors related to bone metabolism in CKD. METHODS: This is a post hoc analysis of the Bicarbonate Administration to Stabilize eGFR Pilot Trial in which 194 individuals with CKD and serum total CO2 20-28 mEq/L were randomly assigned to placebo or one of two doses of sodium bicarbonate (0.5 or 0.8 mEq/kg lean body weight per day) for 28 weeks. The following serum measurements were performed at baseline, week 12, and week 28: B-SAP, c-telopeptide, procollagen type I intact N-terminal propeptide, iPTH, iFGF-23, soluble klotho, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b. The difference (sodium bicarbonate versus placebo) in mean change of each bone biomarker from baseline was determined using linear mixed models. RESULTS: One hundred sixty-eight participants submitted samples for post hoc investigations. Mean eGFR was 37±10 ml/min per 1.73 m2 and mean total CO2 was 24±3 mEq/L at baseline. Sodium bicarbonate induced a dose-dependent increase in soluble klotho levels compared with placebo. There was no significant effect of treatment with either dose of sodium bicarbonate on any of the other bone biomarkers, including iFGF-23, iPTH, and B-SAP. Effects on bone biomarkers were similar in those with baseline serum total CO2 <24 mEq/L compared with those with total CO2 ≥24 mEq/L. CONCLUSIONS: In this pilot trial of individuals with CKD and total CO2 20-28 mEq/L, sodium bicarbonate treatment increased serum klotho levels but did not affect other bone health markers over 28 weeks. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRY NAME AND REGISTRATION NUMBER: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02521181.