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Parathyroid Hormone

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

What To Think About

  • Because PTH can raise calcium levels and lower phosphorus levels, blood tests for calcium and phosphorus are often done at the same time as a test for PTH.
  • How well your kidneys work can affect how much PTH you have in your blood. For this reason, tests to measure the amount of creatinine in the blood may be done at the same time as a PTH test.
  • A high PTH level along with a high calcium level can cause problems such as osteoporosis, kidney stones, high blood pressure, kidney failure, peptic ulcer disease, cognitive changes, and problems with the balance of water in the body. About half of all people who have high levels of PTH and calcium in the blood need treatment to correct the abnormal levels. Further testing, such as bone mineral density testing or 24-hour urine calcium testing, may be needed to help make decisions about treatment.
  • An overactive parathyroid gland is often caused by a noncancerous (benign) tumor of the parathyroid gland. Parathyroid tumors tend to grow slowly and may not cause any symptoms for many years. Parathyroid tumors are more common after age 50 and are often found with routine blood tests that are done for other reasons. Treatment includes close observation, medicines, or surgery to remove the tumor.

To learn more about the tests discussed above, see:

Calcium (Ca) in Blood.
Phosphate in Blood.
Total Serum Protein.
Creatinine and Creatinine Clearance.
Bone Mineral Density.
Calcium (Ca) in Urine.

Citations

  1. Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Other Works Consulted

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 05, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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