Parathyroid hormone [PTH]

Parathyroid hormone (PTH) helps to control blood levels of calcium and phosphate. It makes bone release calcium, and makes normal kidneys lose more phosphate. Producing too much PTH makes calcium high and can thin bones. PTH levels increase when calcium is low or phosphate is high, as the body attempts to correct the abnormality. However overproduction of PTH can thin bones.

Normal ranges at different labs can vary, so these are an example only. Normal = 10-65 ng/l (1.3-7.6 pmol/l). Your result may be in ng/l or pmol/l depending on lab.

Result (ng/l)
Result (pmol/l)
below 10
below 1.3
Low. Seen when high calcium is not caused by PTH.
Normal, for someone with normal calcium and phosphate levels
High but acceptable in patients with chronic kidney disease if calcium and phosphate are controlled.
Too high. If calcium is normal or high, further treatment is needed.

PTH in kidney disease

PTH is measured from time to time in patients with kidney diseases to prevent renal bone disease (renal osteodystrophy). High phosphate levels, low calcium levels, and vitamin D processing problems can all lead to high PTH levels in kidney disease (usually stage 4 or more severe).

Further information

More info about PTH from EdREN

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

This page created 20th July 2005, last modified July 9, 2015, on the PatientView website