Phosphate [PO4]

Normal = 0.8-1.4 mmol/litre (2.5-4.3 mg/dl). Phosphate is found in bones and is an essential food component, found particularly with protein and in dairy products.

less than 0.8
Suggests poor food intake, or refeeding with sugar after starvation. Sometimes occurs in kidney diseases and inherited conditions. Very low levels cause severe weakness and bone problems.
High, but acceptable in dialysis patients and patients with severe kidney failure.
Too high - risk of bone disease, and of calcium deposits forming in arteries and elsewhere.

Phosphate in kidney disease

Phosphate levels are high in kidney failure, and this may cause itching and calcium deposits in the body, especially in arteries, as well as serious bone disease.

Renal patients are often asked to limit the amount of phosphate in their diet (more about renal diets), and to take tablets that stop the phosphate that you eat from getting into you. Some of these 'phosphate binders' contain calcium, so they can raise blood calcium level too. High phosphate is one of the major causes of hyperparathyroidism (raised PTH) in kidney failure, which causes severe bone disease and other problems.

Dialysis patients with uncontrolled phosphate levels do not survive as long as patients with good phosphate levels. The recommended target for phosphate in dialysis patients in the UK is a maximum of 1.8. Many patients and units accept slightly higher values as it can be very hard to keep phosphate as low as 1.8 without long dialysis treatments, or difficult diets.

More info

More info about Phosphate from Lab Tests Online

More info about Renal Bone Disease from the NKF...

This page created 6th December 2004, last modified July 7, 2015, on the PatientView website