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Author Notes:

Corresponding author: Vin Tangpricha, M.D., Ph.D. Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Lipids Department of Medicine Emory University School of Medicine WMRB 1301 101 Woodruff Circle NE Atlanta, GA 30307 USA Tel: +1 404 727 7254 Fax: +1 404 727 1300 vin.tangpricha@emory.edu

The authors acknowledge the assistance from the staff of the Emory University Cystic Fibrosis Center, Margaret Jenkins, Sandra Huff and Carrie Cutchins.

The authors also acknowledge the technical assistance from James Shepherd in the operation of the Sperti Del Sol machine.

Conflicts of interest: Dr. Tangpricha and Dr. Holick received grant support from the Ultraviolet (UV) Light Foundation. The remaining authors report no conflicts of interest.



  • cystic fibrosis
  • short bowel syndrome
  • tanning
  • ultraviolet radiation
  • vitamin D

Treatment of vitamin D deficiency with UV light in patients with malabsorption syndromes: a case series


Journal Title:

Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine


Volume 23, Number 5


, Pages 179-185

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Background Cystic fibrosis (CF) and short bowel syndrome (SBS) patients are unable to absorb vitamin D from the diet and thus are frequently found to be severely vitamin D deficient. We evaluated whether a commercial portable ultraviolet (UV) indoor tanning lamp that has a spectral output that mimics natural sunlight could raise circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels in subjects with CF and SBS. Methods In initial pilot studies, two SBS subjects came to the outpatient clinic twice weekly for 8 weeks for UV light sessions of 6 min each. In a follow-up study, five CF subjects exposed their lower backs in a seated position to the sunlamp at a distance of 14 cm for 5–10 min depending on the skin type five times a week for 8 weeks. Blood samples for 25(OH)D and parathyroid hormone (PTH) measurements were performed at baseline and at the end of the study. Results In our study, with two SBS subjects, the indoor lamp increased or maintained circulating 25(OH)D levels during the winter months. We increased the UV lamp frequency and found an improved response in the CF patients. Serum 25(OH)D levels in CF subjects at baseline were 21 ± 3 ng/ml, which increased to 27 ± 4 ng/ml at the end of 8 weeks (P = 0.05). PTH concentration remained largely unchanged in both population groups. Conclusion A UV lamp that emits ultraviolet radiation similar to sunlight and thus produces vitamin D3 in the skin is an excellent alternative for CF, and SBS patients who suffer from vitamin D deficiency due to fat malabsorption, especially during the winter months when natural sunlight is unable to produce vitamin D3 in the skin. This UV lamp is widely available for commercial home use and could potentially be prescribed to patients with CF or SBS.

Copyright information:

© 2007 The Authors Journal compilation © 2007 Blackwell Munksgaard

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