Vitamin D for the Immune System in Cystic Fibrosis (DISC): A double-blind, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial

Academic Article


  • Background Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) have increased risk of vitamin D deficiency owing to fat malabsorption and other factors. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risk of pulmonary exacerbations of CF. Objectives The primary objective of this study was to examine the impact of a single high-dose bolus of vitamin D 3 followed by maintenance treatment given to adults with CF during an acute pulmonary exacerbation on future recurrence of pulmonary exacerbations. Methods This was a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, intent-to-treat clinical trial. Subjects with CF were randomly assigned to oral vitamin D 3 given as a single dose of 250,000 International Units (IU) or to placebo within 72 h of hospital admission for an acute pulmonary exacerbation, followed by 50,000 IU of vitamin D 3 or an identically matched placebo pill taken orally every other week starting at 3 mo after random assignment. The primary outcome was the composite endpoint of the time to next pulmonary exacerbation or death within 1 y. The secondary outcomes included circulating concentrations of the antimicrobial peptide cathelicidin and recovery of lung function as assessed by the percentage of predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1%). Results A total of 91 subjects were enrolled in the study. There were no differences between the vitamin D 3 and placebo groups in time to next pulmonary exacerbation or death at 1 y. In addition, there were no differences in serial recovery of lung function after pulmonary exacerbation by FEV1% or in serial concentrations of plasma cathelicidin. Conclusions Vitamin D 3 initially given at the time of pulmonary exacerbation of CF did not alter the time to the next pulmonary exacerbation, 12-mo mortality, serial lung function, or serial plasma cathelicidin concentrations. This trial was registered at as NCT01426256.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Tangpricha V; Lukemire J; Chen Y; Binongo JNG; Judd SE; Michalski ES; Lee MJ; Walker S; Ziegler TR; Tirouvanziam R
  • Start Page

  • 554
  • End Page

  • 565
  • Volume

  • 109
  • Issue

  • 3