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Phosphate in Blood

Risks

Blood test

There is very little risk of complications from having blood drawn from a vein. You may develop a small bruise at the puncture site. You can reduce the risk of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several minutes after the needle is withdrawn.

In rare cases, the vein may become inflamed after the blood sample is taken. This condition is called phlebitis and is usually treated by applying a warm compress several times daily.

Continued bleeding can be a problem for people with bleeding disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood-thinning medicines can also make bleeding more likely. If you have bleeding or clotting problems, or if you take blood-thinning medicine, tell the health professional before your blood is drawn.

Heel stick

There is very little risk of a serious problem developing from a heel stick. A small bruise may develop at the puncture site.

Continued bleeding can be a problem for babies with bleeding disorders. There is a possibility that a bleeding problem may be discovered while collecting the blood for this test.

Results

A phosphate test measures the amount of phosphate in a blood sample. Phosphate is a charged particle (ion) that contains the mineral phosphorus. Phosphate levels are usually higher in children than in adults because of the active bone growth occurring in children.

Results are usually available in 1 to 2 hours.

Normal

The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.

Phosphate in blood1
Milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)Millimoles per liter (mmol/L)
Adults:

2.7–4.5

0.87–1.45

Children:

4.5–5.5

1.45–1.78

Newborns:

4.5–9.0

1.45–2.91

 

High values

High phosphate levels may be caused by:

Low values

Low phosphate levels may be caused by:

What Affects the Test

Results from a blood phosphate test may be affected by:

  • Using some medicines that can decrease phosphate levels, such as acetazolamide and epinephrine. A large infusion of sugar (glucose) that causes insulin levels to increase can also decrease phosphate levels.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 18, 2013
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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