Ionized calcium measurement is used to assess calcium levels during surgery or blood transfusions in neonates and critically ill patients. Ionized calcium measurement is also used as a complementary test in the evaluation of all patients with abnormal blood calcium values.
Calcium (Ca ++) is a cation absorbed into the bloodstream by diet. Calcium is involved in bone formation, transmission of nerve impulses, contraction of the myocardium and skeletal muscle, and blood coagulation by converting prothrombin to thrombin. Calcium is stored in the teeth and bones, and the calcium in the bloodstream is filtered through the kidneys, with most being reabsorbed when serum levels are normal.
Ionized calcium is a cation that circulates freely in the blood and accounts for 46-50% of all circulating calcium in the blood. Its levels increase or decrease immediately with increases and decreases in blood pH. For each pH decrease by 0.1 unit, the ionized calcium is increased by 1.5-2.5%. Ionized calcium is sometimes considered to be a more sensitive and reliable indicator of primary hyperparathyroidism for patients with low albumin levels than total calcium measurement, because ionized calcium is not affected by changes in albumin. Serum total calcium values increase or decrease directly relative to serum albumin levels, whereas ionized calcium levels do not.
What Do Pathological Rates Mean?
- Increase: Acidosis, hypervitamin D, malignancy, hyperparathyroidism (primary), tumors that produce or increase parathyroid hormone, phlebitis. Medications: hydrochlorothiazide (chronic use), lithium compounds
- Decrease: Alkalosis, burns, blood transfusions, hyperosmotic states, hypoparathyroidism (primary), magnesium deficiency, multiple organic deficiency, pancreatitis, pancreatitis, postoperative, pseudo-hypoparathyroidism, sepsis, trauma, vitamin D deficiency. Medications: antiepileptic, furosemide, hypersmotic solutions
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.