SERUM TOTAL CALCIUM
Pre-test preparation or requirements
• Sample can be drawn at any time. No fasting or special preparation required.
• Sample should taken in plain vial.
Significance of test
Calcium plays an essential role in many cell functions: intracellular in muscle contraction and glycogen metabolism, extracellular in bone mineralization, in blood coagulation and in transmission of nerve impulses.
Calcium in plasma exists in three forms: free, bound to proteins or bound to anions such as phosphate, citrate and bicarbonate in a complex reaction. Decreased total calcium levels can be associated with diseases of the bone apparatus (especially osteoporosis), kidney diseases (especially under dialysis), defective intestinal absorption and hypoparathyroidism.
Increased total calcium can be measured in hyperparathyroidism, malignant diseases with metastases and sarcoidosis. Calcium measurements also help in monitoring of calcium supplementation mainly in the prevention of osteoporosis.