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Mayo Clin Proc. 1980 Oct;55(10):606-13.

Comparative studies of total and ionized serum calcium values in normal subjects and patients with renal disorders.


One hundred fourteen nondialyzed azotemic adult patients (creatinine connentration 1.2 to 17.6 mg/dl), 78 stable renal transplant recipients (creatinine less than 1.9 mg/dl), 50 patients with idiopathic nephrolithiasis, 36 patients with surgically proven primary hyperparathyroidism, and 62 normal volunteers were studied with simultaneous serum ionized calcium, total calcium, parathyroid hormone (PTH), phosphorus, and creatinine measurements. Ionized calcium could not be reliably predicted from total calcium. Although in all patient groups values for serum ionized calcium correlated significantly with those for total calcium, the scatter around the regression line was such that a direct interpretation was not precise. With respect to reference values, significant differnces were found between ionized and total calcium in 26% of all studied patients. When compared with total serum calcium, ionized calcium appeared to be a more sensitive index of calcium metabolism. All correlations with ionized calcium had a higher r value compared with those with total serum calcium. Two findings were particularly rewarding. In patients with chronic renal failure, serum PTH showed a negative correlation with serum ionized calcium, indicating that the latter may have been largely responsible for the secondary increase in PTH; in patients after a successful transplant, serum PTH showed a positive correlation with serum ionized calcium, indicating that in the presence of normal kidney function the previously hypertrophied parathyroid glands may be largely responsible for the daily study of a large number of specimens, determinations of serum ionized calcium should be encouraged in all patients suspected of having abnormalities of renal calcium metabolism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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