The PTH, Intact and Calcium test contains 1 test with 2 biomarkers.
Description: The PTH Intact and Calcium test is a blood test that measures the levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH) and calcium in the blood. PTH is a hormone produced by the parathyroid glands, four small glands located near the thyroid gland in the neck. PTH plays a critical role in regulating calcium and phosphorus levels in the body. The test is performed to evaluate the functioning of the parathyroid glands and the balance of calcium in the blood.
Also Known As: Parathyroid hormone Intact (with Calcium) test, Intact PTH test, Parathormone test, PTH with Calcium Test, Parathyroid Hormone Intact with Calcium Test, Intact PTH with Calcium Test, PTH with Ca Test
Collection Method: Blood Draw
Specimen Type: Plasma and Serum
Test Preparation: No preparation required
When is a PTH Intact with Calcium test ordered?
When a calcium test is abnormal, a PTH and Calcium test may be requested. When someone shows signs of hypercalcemia or hypocalcemia, it may be prescribed.
When someone has been treated for an illness or condition that affects calcium control, such as the elimination of a parathyroid tumor, or when a person has a long - term condition like renal disease, a health practitioner may prescribe a PTH test along with a calcium test at intervals.
When someone with hyperparathyroidism is undergoing surgery to remove abnormal parathyroid tissue, an intraoperative PTH test may be done to confirm that all of the abnormal glands are removed, which can vary in number and position.
What does a PTH Intact and Calcium test check for?
The hormone parathyroid aids in the body's ability to keep calcium levels in the blood at a constant level. Calcium, PTH, vitamin D, and, to a lesser extent, phosphorus and magnesium are all part of a feedback loop. Conditions and disorders that disturb this feedback loop can lead to abnormal increases or declines in calcium and PTH levels, as well as hypercalcemia and hypocalcemia symptoms. This test determines how much PTH is present in the blood.
PTH is generated by four parathyroid glands, which are positioned behind the thyroid gland in the neck and are the size of a button. PTH is secreted into the bloodstream by these glands in reaction to low blood calcium levels. To help restore normal blood calcium levels, the hormone functions in three ways:
- PTH encourages calcium to be released from the bones into the bloodstream.
- It encourages the kidneys to convert vitamin D from inactive to active form, which enhances calcium absorption from food in the intestines.
- It works on the kidneys to reduce calcium excretion in the urine while increasing phosphorus excretion.
PTH generally declines as calcium levels in the blood begin to rise.
The parathyroid hormone is made up of 84 amino acids. The parathyroid gland contains both intact and fragmented hormone, which it secretes. The intact hormone makes up a lesser percentage of the total, but its proportion rises when calcium levels are low and falls when calcium levels are high.
PTH has a relatively short half-life once released into the bloodstream; absorption and cleavage in the liver and kidneys cause levels to drop by 50% in less than 5 minutes. The pieces are known as C-terminal fragments, and they range in size from 6 amino acids to more than half of the molecule's N-terminal region. C-terminal fragments have a longer half-life, are found in higher concentrations, and are eventually eliminated by the kidneys. Although the C-terminal fragments were assumed to be inactive at first, it now appears that some of them may have biologic actions that are able to counteract those of whole PTH.
Calcium is one of the most plentiful and vital minerals in the human body. It is required for cell signaling as well as the proper operation of muscles, nerves, and the heart. Calcium is essential for blood clotting as well as bone growth, density, and maintenance. This test determines how much calcium is present in the blood.
Calcium is found complexed in the bones for 99 percent of the time, while the remaining 1% circulates in the blood. Calcium levels are closely monitored; if too little is absorbed or consumed, or if too much is lost through the kidney or stomach, calcium is removed from bone to keep blood concentrations stable. Approximately half of the calcium in the blood is metabolically active and "free." The other half is "bound" to albumin, with a minor proportion complexed to anions like phosphate, and both of these forms are metabolically inactive.
Blood calcium can be measured using two different tests. The free and bound forms of calcium are measured in the total calcium test. Only the free, physiologically active form of calcium is measured in the ionized calcium test.
Lab tests often ordered with a PTH Intact and Calcium test:
- Vitamin D
- Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
Conditions where a PTH Intact and Calcium test is recommended:
A PTH Intact and Calcium test is commonly ordered for conditions such as:
Hyperparathyroidism: Elevated PTH levels with high calcium levels may indicate primary hyperparathyroidism, a condition where the parathyroid glands produce excessive PTH.
Hypoparathyroidism: Low PTH levels with low calcium levels may indicate hypoparathyroidism, a condition where the parathyroid glands produce insufficient PTH.
Hypercalcemia or Hypocalcemia: High or low calcium levels can occur due to various medical conditions and may warrant evaluation of PTH levels to determine the underlying cause.
How does my health care provider use a PTH Intact and Calcium test?
The most commonly requested parathyroid hormone test is intact PTH. It's utilized to figure out what's causing a low or high calcium level, as well as to distinguish between parathyroid and non-parathyroid reasons. When a person has a parathyroid-related ailment, it can also be utilized to track the effectiveness of treatment. People with chronic renal disease or who are on dialysis have their PTH levels checked on a regular basis.
Almost always, a calcium test is ordered in conjunction with a PTH test. It's not just the calcium level in the blood that matters, but also the calcium-PTH balance and the parathyroid glands' response to fluctuating calcium levels. Typically, health professionals are concerned about severe calcium regulation imbalances that may necessitate medical intervention or recurring imbalances that signal an underlying disease.
PTH levels can be used to track persons who have chronic calcium imbalances due to illnesses or diseases, as well as those who have had surgery or another procedure for a parathyroid tumor.
What do my Parathyroid Hormone with Calcium test results mean?
A health professional will look at both calcium and PTH findings to see if they're in the right range and in balance. If both PTH and calcium levels are normal, the body's calcium regulating mechanism is likely to be in good working order.
Low levels of PTH can be caused by hypercalcemia or a defect in PTH generation, resulting in hypoparathyroidism. Hyperparathyroidism, which is most commonly caused by a benign parathyroid tumor, can produce excessive PTH secretion. Cancer may be the reason in some cases.
If calcium levels are low and PTH levels are high, the parathyroid glands are responding properly and producing enough PTH. A health practitioner may examine a low calcium level further by analyzing vitamin D, phosphorus, and magnesium levels, depending on the degree of hypocalcemia.
If calcium levels are low and PTH levels are normal or low, PTH isn't working properly, and the person being tested is most likely hypoparathyroid. The failure of the parathyroid glands to produce enough PTH causes hypoparathyroidism. It could be caused by a variety of factors and could be chronic, progressive, or transitory. An autoimmune problem, parathyroid injury or removal during surgery, a hereditary condition, or a serious sickness are all possible causes. PTH levels will be low, calcium levels will be low, and phosphorus levels will be high in those who are impacted.
If your calcium levels are high and your PTH levels are high, your parathyroid glands are producing too much PTH. To help diagnose the origin and severity of hyperparathyroidism, a health practitioner may order X-rays or other imaging procedures. Primary, secondary, and tertiary hyperparathyroidism are three types of hyperparathyroidism characterized by an excess of PTH produced by the parathyroid glands.
If calcium levels are high and PTH levels are low, the parathyroid glands are functioning normally. However, a health practitioner will likely conduct additional tests to rule out non-parathyroid causes for the elevated calcium, such as genetic variants in calcium receptors or tumors that secrete a peptide with PTH-like activity, which increases calcium concentration while decreasing PTH.
Most Common Questions About the PTH Intact and Calcium test:
Understanding the PTH Intact and Calcium Test
What is the PTH Intact and Calcium test?
The PTH (Parathyroid Hormone) Intact and Calcium test is a blood test that measures the levels of parathyroid hormone and calcium in the blood. The parathyroid glands release PTH, which regulates calcium levels in the body.
Why is the PTH Intact and Calcium test ordered?
This test is usually ordered when a person has symptoms or a medical condition that might cause calcium imbalance, such as kidney disease, hyperparathyroidism, or certain types of cancers. It can also be ordered if an individual has unexplained high or low blood calcium levels.
What does the PTH Intact and Calcium test result signify?
The results of the PTH Intact and Calcium test can help determine whether the parathyroid glands are functioning properly. High PTH and calcium levels might indicate hyperparathyroidism, while low levels might suggest hypoparathyroidism.
Interpreting PTH Intact and Calcium Test Results
What does a high PTH Intact and Calcium test result mean?
A high PTH level along with a high calcium level often indicates hyperparathyroidism, a condition where the parathyroid glands produce too much PTH. It can also suggest certain types of cancers or vitamin D disorders.
What does a low PTH Intact and Calcium test result mean?
A low PTH level along with a low calcium level can suggest hypoparathyroidism, where the parathyroid glands don't produce enough PTH. It might also be indicative of certain conditions such as vitamin D deficiency, malnutrition, or magnesium deficiency.
PTH Intact and Calcium Test and Specific Health Conditions
How can the PTH Intact and Calcium test help diagnose hyperparathyroidism?
The test helps in diagnosing hyperparathyroidism by showing high levels of both PTH and calcium in the blood. It also helps differentiate between primary hyperparathyroidism (caused by an issue within the parathyroid glands) and secondary hyperparathyroidism (resulting from a different underlying condition).
Can the PTH Intact and Calcium test help in managing kidney disease?
Yes, the test can be very useful in managing kidney disease. Kidney disease can cause imbalances in PTH and calcium levels, leading to secondary hyperparathyroidism. Regular monitoring of these levels can help manage the condition and prevent complications.
PTH Intact and Calcium Test and Treatment Considerations
How does the result of the PTH Intact and Calcium test affect the treatment plan for hyperparathyroidism?
Results indicating high levels of PTH and calcium would confirm a diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism. Depending on the severity, treatment could include medications to lower calcium levels, dietary changes, or in some cases, surgery to remove one or more of the parathyroid glands.
Can the PTH Intact and Calcium test be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for parathyroid disorders?
Yes, following treatment for parathyroid disorders, the PTH Intact and Calcium test can be used to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment and ensure that PTH and calcium levels are within the normal range.
PTH Intact and Calcium Test and Other Diagnostic Tools
How does the PTH Intact and Calcium test compare to other diagnostic tools for parathyroid disorders?
The PTH Intact and Calcium test is an important tool for diagnosing parathyroid disorders. Other diagnostic tools may include imaging tests like ultrasound or nuclear scans, and other blood tests like Vitamin D levels or renal function tests, which can provide additional information.
What lifestyle factors can influence the PTH Intact and Calcium test results?
Certain lifestyle factors can affect the results of the PTH Intact and Calcium test. These include diet (particularly intake of calcium and vitamin D), hydration status, certain medications, and overall health.
Are there specific patient populations who might benefit more from a PTH Intact and Calcium test?
Individuals with kidney disease, those with a family history of parathyroid disorders, and those with symptoms suggestive of calcium imbalance (such as fatigue, muscle weakness, or depression) could particularly benefit from this test.
Understanding Advancements and Limitations
What are the benefits of the PTH Intact and Calcium test in understanding calcium balance in the body?
The PTH Intact and Calcium test helps in understanding how the body regulates calcium, which is crucial for many bodily functions like bone health, nerve function, muscle contraction, and blood clotting.
What conditions could potentially cause a false reading in the PTH Intact and Calcium test?
Certain conditions like Vitamin D deficiency, magnesium deficiency, and severe illness can influence the results of the PTH Intact and Calcium test, potentially causing false readings.
How does the PTH Intact and Calcium test contribute to our overall understanding of calcium and PTH's role in the body?
The test offers insights into the relationship between PTH and calcium, helping us understand the complex mechanisms of calcium regulation in the body and the pivotal role of the parathyroid glands in this process.
Research and Future Directions
How has the PTH Intact and Calcium test evolved over the years?
The test has become more precise and accurate over time due to advancements in technology. Additionally, our understanding of the interpretation of results has improved with growing knowledge of the complexities of calcium metabolism and parathyroid function.
How might the PTH Intact and Calcium test be improved in the future?
Potential improvements could come from increased accuracy and sensitivity of the test, faster processing times, and better understanding of how various conditions and treatments can affect the test results.
Is there ongoing research involving the PTH Intact and Calcium test?
Yes, there's ongoing research to improve the test's accuracy, to understand better the relationship between PTH and calcium in various health conditions, and to explore new treatment approaches based on these findings.
How does the PTH Intact and Calcium test fit into the broader picture of patient health management?
This test plays a key role in diagnosing and managing parathyroid disorders and other conditions that affect calcium balance, contributing to more accurate diagnoses, effective treatments, and better overall patient health management.
What role does the PTH Intact and Calcium test play in precision medicine?
The PTH Intact and Calcium test is a good example of precision medicine. By determining an individual's unique PTH and calcium levels, healthcare providers can create personalized treatment plans tailored to the specific needs of each patient.
How has the understanding of PTH and calcium balance changed over the years?
Our understanding of PTH and calcium balance has significantly evolved over the years. We now know much more about how various factors like diet, kidney function, and vitamin D status can affect this balance and how imbalances can contribute to a range of health conditions.
How is the PTH Intact and Calcium test used to guide decisions about surgery for hyperparathyroidism?
If the test reveals high PTH and calcium levels, surgery to remove one or more of the parathyroid glands may be considered. Post-operative PTH and calcium testing can then be used to assess the success of the surgery and guide further treatment decisions.
How does the PTH Intact and Calcium test help manage long-term care for patients with chronic kidney disease?
Chronic kidney disease often leads to disturbances in PTH and calcium balance. Regular monitoring with the PTH Intact and Calcium test can guide treatment adjustments, helping to manage these disturbances and prevent complications like bone disease and vascular calcification.
How does the PTH Intact and Calcium test fit into the wider landscape of endocrine testing?
The PTH Intact and Calcium test is a critical component of endocrine testing. It plays a vital role in diagnosing and managing disorders of the parathyroid glands, which are an important part of the endocrine system. This test, along with other hormone tests, helps provide a comprehensive picture of a patient's endocrine health.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.