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Phosphorus Serum

About the test
What is this test done for?
Serum phosphorus is a test to evaluate the level of mineral phosphorus in the blood.
Why is it Done?
The test is done for any of the following reasons-- To diagnose conditions occurring due to high or low levels of phosphorus. -in conjunction with other tests like calcium. - when symptoms suggest kidney or gastrointestinal disorders. - to monitor the treatment for high/low levels of phosphorus. -in people who have diabetes to assess the acid base balance.
When should it be performed?
If the following signs, symptoms are seen, or conditions suspected the phosphorus test is performed:
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Cramps
  • Bone related problems
  • Follow up when calcium levels are abnormal, and one is taking calcium and phosphate supplements.
  • In the case of kidney disorders
How is it done
A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm. Fasting is not needed for sample collection.
  • The normal range value in adults is between 2.5 to 4.5 mg/dL.
  • Low levels of phosphorus (hypophosphatemia) in the blood may be due to or associated with:
    • Hypercalcemia, especially due to hyperparathyroidism.
    • Overuse of diuretics
    • Malnutrition
    • Alcoholism
    • Severe burns
    • Hypothyroidism
    • Hypokalemia
    • Chronic antacid use
    • Rickets
    • osteomalacia (due to vitamin D deficiencies)
    • Diabetic ketoacidosis when patient is on treatment.
  • Higher than normal levels of phosphorus (hyperphosphatemia) in the blood may be due to or associated with:
    • Kidney failure
    • Liver disease
    • Hypoparathyroidism
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis when it is first diagnosed, and no treatment has been started.
  • Increased dietary intake like phosphate supplementation
Other Tests
Serum levels of Calcium, electrolytes, magnesium, Vitamin D may be ordered and if kidney disorders exist, then renal function tests might be performed. Also, parathyroid hormone levels (PTH) might be done to help rule out the cause.
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