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Patients with Paget's disease of bone were treated with oral disodium dihydrogen ethylidene-1-hydroxy-1,1-bisphosphonate (EHBP), a drug that is known to stimulate renal tubular reabsorption of orthophosphate (Pi). After 2 weeks of treatment, plasma Pi rose from 1.02 to 1.67 mmol/l. No increase in Pi was observed with the related drug, dichloromethylene bisphosphonate, which also reduces bone turnover in Paget's disease. Intravenous EHBP caused a more rapid increase in plasma Pi, but maximum hyperphosphatemia was not observed until 7-11 days after treatment commenced. It is therefore unlikely that this effect is due to an immediate action of EHBP on the luminal face of the renal brush border Pi transporter. After 2 weeks of oral EHBP, the increase in the Pi concentration in patients' erythrocytes was 31% compared with 64% in plasma. In blood platelets and leukocytes, negligible changes in cellular Pi occurred. The concentrations of 2,3-diphosphoglycerate, adenosine 5'-diphosphate (ADP) and adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) were unaltered, indicating that these organic phosphates were not offsetting a potential change in cellular Pi. The decrease in erythrocyte/plasma distribution ratio for Pi was also observed in patients receiving intravenous EHBP. However, no change occurred in cell/plasma distribution of chloride, suggesting that this apparent regulation of cellular Pi did not arise from changes in erythrocyte membrane potential, pH, or water content.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





255 - 259


Administration, Oral, Chlorides, Diphosphonates, Etidronic Acid, Humans, Infusions, Parenteral, Organophosphorus Compounds, Osteitis Deformans, Phosphates