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Phosphorus, Serum

Interpreting Results

Overview of Ph, Serum

What is Ph, Serum?

Phosphorus is an electrolyte that is present in blood as organic and inorganic phosphates (PO43-). It plays essential roles in the metabolism, pH & electrolyte balance, functioning of muscles and nerves, and maintenance of healthy bones. The Serum Phosphate Test measures the levels of inorganic phosphates in blood.

Why is Ph, Serum done?

The Phosphorus Test is performed:

    To evaluate phosphate levels in case of bone and kidney diseases
    To determine conditions associated with certain glands like parathyroid glands
    To determine the cause of abnormal levels of Vitamin D
   To monitor levels when taking phosphorus or calcium supplements

What does Ph, Serum Measure?

Phosphorus is both a mineral and an electrolyte, which is present in blood as organic and inorganic phosphates. Phosphates perform a number of essential roles in the body. It is critical in energy production and storage as it forms a part of the energy currency of cells (Adenosine tri, di, and monophosphates). It is also a structural component of DNA. It is essential in the functioning of nerves and muscles, and in the growth and maintenance of healthy bones. In blood, phosphates act as buffers to maintain the pH and electrolyte balance of the body.

Diet forms the main source of phosphorus. Once consumed, it is quickly absorbed by the digestive system. In the body, most of the phosphates are bound to the bones and teeth with calcium. Some of it is found in muscles and nerves, and a small amount in all cells where it forms a structural component of DNA and energy storage. Very small amounts of phosphates are normally found in circulation and these levels are measured with the serum phosphate test.

Phosphate levels in the blood are maintained within its very narrow normal concentration range by excretion of excess phosphorus through kidneys. Phosphate levels are also dependent on the levels of calcium, Vitamin D and Parathyroid Hormone in blood.

Preparation for Ph, Serum

  • Do not eat or drink anything other than water for 8-12 hours before the test.

Sample Type for Ph, Serum

The sample type collected for Phosphorus, Serum is: Blood

Interpreting Ph, Serum results


Normal range: 2.40 to 4.40 mg/dL

Phosphate concentration in the blood is maintained within a narrow normal range between 2.40 mg/dL and 4.40 mg/dL.

Hypophosphatemia or low blood phosphorus is indicated if phosphorus concentration lies below the normal range.

Hyperphosphatemia or high blood phosphorus is indicated if phosphorus concentration lies above the normal range.

Phosphate levels in children are usually higher than in adults due to the active growth of bones in children.

Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ph, Serum

Frequently Asked Questions about Phosphorus, Serum

Q. How is this test performed?
This test is performed on a blood sample. A syringe with a fine needle is used to withdraw blood sample from a blood vessel in your arm generally from the inner side of the elbow area. The doctor, nurse or the phlebotomist will tie an elastic band around your arm which will help the blood vessels to swell with blood. This makes it easier to withdraw blood. You may be asked to tightly clench your fist. Once the veins are clearly visible, the area is cleaned with an antiseptic solution and then the needle is inserted into the blood vessel to collect the sample. You may feel a tiny pinprick during the procedure. Blood sample once collected is then sent to the laboratory.
Q. Is there any risk associated with this test?
There is no risk associated with the test. However, since this test involves a needle prick to withdraw the blood sample, in very rare cases, a patient may experience increased bleeding, hematoma formation (blood collection under the skin), bruising or infection at the site of needle prick.
Q. Is there any preparation required before the Phosphorus test?
An overnight fasting period is prescribed before the test. Inform the doctor about any medications you may be taking. No other preparations are required unless specified by your doctor.
Q. What other tests can be prescribed by your doctor in case the result of phosphorus test is not normal?
Others tests that may be prescribed in case of an abnormal result in the blood Phosphorus test include: · Blood Calcium Test · Urine Calcium Test · Vitamin D Test · Electrolyte Panel Test · Kidney Function Test · Liver Function Test · Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) Test · Blood Sugar Tests
Q. What is Hypophosphatemia?
Hypophosphatemia is a condition where the blood phosphorus levels are below the normal range. This may occur due to: · Severe malnutrition · Alcoholism · Major burns · Diabetic ketoacidosis · Fanconi syndrome · Hyperparathyroidism (over secretion of parathyroid hormones) · Hypercalcemia (high blood calcium levels) · Hypokalemia (low blood potassium levels) · Long term use of antacids or diuretics · Long term diarrhea · Deficiency of Vitamin D in children · Some inherited conditions like X-linked Familial Hypophosphatemia (XLH) · Certain medications like diuretics, corticosteroids, bronchodilators, etc.
Q. What are the symptoms of Hypophosphatemia?
Symptoms of Hypophosphatemia include: · Muscular weakness · Fatigue · Bone pain and brittle bones · Loss of appetite · Irritability · Numbness · Confusion · Slow growth in children · Tooth decay Symptoms may not appear in case of mild deficiency, but only in case of severe or chronic deficiency.
Q. What is Hyperphosphatemia?
Hyperphosphatemia is the condition where blood phosphorus levels rise higher than the normal range. This may occur due to: · Liver diseases · Kidney failure · Hypoparathyroidism (reduced secretion of parathyroid hormones) · Diabetic ketoacidosis initial stage · Increased phosphorus consumption in diet or through supplements
Q. What are the symptoms of Hyperphosphatemia?
Symptoms of Hyperphosphatemia include: · Muscle spasms or cramps · Numbness and tingling sensation near mouth · Joint pain · Weak and brittle bones · Rashes and itchy skin
Q. Which food items are good source of phosphorus?
Dietary sources form the principal source of phosphorus. Some very commonly available food items rich in phosphorus are: · Animal Meat · Poultry · Seafood · Dairy products · Nuts · Whole grain · Beans
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