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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2008 Sep;23(9):2884-8. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfn186. Epub 2008 Apr 3.

A formula to predict corrected calcium in haemodialysis patients.

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Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, London Health Sciences Centre, London, UK.



The conventional calcium correction formula (corrected total calcium (mmol/L) = TCa (mmol/L) + 0.02 [40 (g/L) - albumin (g/L)]) is broadly applied for the estimation of serum calcium in haemodialysis (HD) patients, despite the fact that it was not derived or validated in a HD population. A novel formula was derived and validated for corrected serum calcium in HD patients.


Total calcium (TCa), ionized calcium (iCa(2+)), magnesium, phosphate, albumin and bicarbonate were collected from 60 HD patients to derive the formula. A validation set of 237 stable HD patients was then examined, and subjects were classified as hyper-, hypo- and normocalcaemic based on the iCa(2+). Agreement of the new formula was calculated with iCa(2+) as the gold standard, using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). This was compared to the agreement between iCa(2+) and the following: uncorrected total serum calcium (TCa), the conventional correction formula, the Orrell formula and the Clase formula.


Using multiple linear regression the following formula was derived: corrected total calcium (mmol/L) = TCa (mmol/L) + 0.01 [30 (g/L) - albumin (g/L)]. The new formula had superior agreement compared to all of the other formulae. There was a statistically significant greater agreement between the new formula and the iCa(2+) as compared to the conventional formula (P < 0.01). However, the new formula did not significantly outperform the Orrell formula, the Clase formula or Total calcium.


The use of our simple new formula should enable more appropriate decision making compared to the conventional formula in the highly complex HD population.

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