|Background:||Calcium is the most prevalent cation in the body, it exists in three physiochemical states:-
Calcium concentration is tightly controlled by Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) and 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D.
Estimations of the serum levels of calcium are used in the diagnosis and treatment of parathyroid disorders, renal disease, a variety of bone disorders, carcinomas, acromegaly and pancreatitis.
Hypocalcemia commonly presents with neuromuscular excitability, eg tetany, paresthesia and seizures. Causes include hypoalbuminemia (pseudohypocalcemia – see below), chronic renal failure, hypoparathyroidism, magnesium deficiency and acute pancreatitis.
Hypercalcemia can present with fatigue, malaise and weakness when mild. Depression, apathy, inability to concentrate, nausea and vomiting may occur at higher levels. Causes include malignancy, hyperparathyroidism and Vitamin D overdose.
|Reference Ranges:||Serum/Plasma: 2.1 – 2.6 mmol/L
Urine: 2.5 – 7.5 mmol/24hrs
|Patient Preparation:||Serum/Plasma: avoid haemostasis|
|Specimen Requirements:||Sample type:
|Turnaround Time:||2 hours|