Very high-dose ergocalciferol is effective for correcting vitamin D deficiency in children and young adults with cystic fibrosis

Steven R. Boas*, Joseph R. Hageman, Louisa T. Ho, Marissa Liveris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Approximately 10-80% of patients with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) have vitamin D deficiency. Obtaining therapeutic vitamin D levels has been a challenge for CF care providers using current recommended high-dose oral ergocalciferol (400,000 IU over 2 months). The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a 2-week, very high dose ergocalciferol (700,000 IU over 14 days) repletion strategy in children and young adults with CF. As part of a quality improvement initiative, a prospective cohort study was performed from January through May 2007. Phase I included identifying individuals with CF who were subtherapeutic in 25-OH D. In phase II, 50,000 IU of ergocalciferol was prescribed for a 14 day term and administered daily. During phase III, a post treatment 25-OH D level was obtained to determine improvement. Baseline demographics and clinical characteristics were obtained at study entry. Stratification of the post 25-OHD levels was defined. Eighteen individuals with CF participated in the study. The mean age was 17 ± 5 years (range 6-25 years). One hundred percent were pancreatic insufficient and required pancreatic enzyme replacement. All 18 had 25-OHD levels less than 30 ng/mL pre-treatment. Seventeen of the 18 (94%) participants became therapeutic in the 2-week interval. No patients had values considered high abnormal (100-150 ng/mL) or toxic (> 150 ng/mL). Mean change was noted at an increase of 37.3 ± 22 ng/mL in the 2-week period (p < 0.001). Pre and peripubertal individuals had a significantly greater increase in 25-OH D levels. The results of this study demonstrate that very high dosing of vitamin D using oral ergocalciferol over a 14 day period is an effective strategy in achieving therapeutic levels of 25-OH vitamin D in children and young adults with CF. We believe this regimen deserves further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-272
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Cystic Fibrosis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Ergocalciferol
  • Vitamin D deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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