What Is a PTH Intact Blood Test?


Quick Answer

A PTH intact blood test measures the levels of parathyroid hormone in the blood, notes WebMD. PTH is an acronym for parathyroid hormone, a protein hormone released by the parathyroid gland, indicates MedlinePlus. A PTH intact blood test is used to identify hyperparathyroidism, determine the cause of abnormal calcium levels in the blood, and monitor patients with chronic kidney diseases.

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Full Answer

During a PTH intact blood test, blood is drawn from a vein, usually from the back of the hand or inside the elbow, explains WebMD. The needle site is cleaned with an antiseptic, and an elastic band is wrapped around the upper arm to stop blood flow from the vein. A needle is then inserted into the vein, and blood is collected in a syringe or an airtight vial. The elastic band and the needle are removed, and the needle site is covered to stop any bleeding.

The risks of a PTH intact blood test are mild, and may include bleeding, accumulation of blood under the skin, and infection at the site of blood draw, notes WebMD. The doctor examines the calcium and PTH test results together to determine if the levels are within the normal ranges, indicates Healthline.

If PTH and calcium levels are in balance, the parathyroid glands are functioning properly. If the PTH levels are low, the patient may be suffering from hypoparathyroidism. If PTH levels are high, the patient could have hyperparathyroidism caused by a benign parathyroid tumor, states Healthline.

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