Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) Test-Introduction, Test Result, Unit, Normal Range, Test Method, Clinical Significance, and Keynotes


The Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) test is a diagnostic blood test that measures the level of parathyroid hormone in a person’s bloodstream. This hormone is primarily produced and regulated by the parathyroid glands, which are four small, pea-sized glands located in the neck behind the thyroid gland. The PTH test is an essential tool in assessing the health and function of these glands, as well as in diagnosing and monitoring conditions related to calcium and phosphate balance in the body.

Here is an introduction to the PTH test:

  1. Purpose: The primary role of parathyroid hormone is to regulate calcium levels in the blood. It does so by influencing the release of calcium from bones, the absorption of calcium in the intestines, and the excretion of calcium by the kidneys. Abnormal levels of PTH can lead to various medical conditions.
  2. Indications: The PTH test is ordered by healthcare providers for several reasons, including:
    • Diagnosing Hyperparathyroidism: High levels of PTH can indicate overactivity of the parathyroid glands, which can lead to elevated blood calcium levels.
    • Diagnosing Hypoparathyroidism: Low levels of PTH can result from the underactivity of the parathyroid glands, causing reduced blood calcium levels.
    • Monitoring Chronic Kidney Disease: PTH levels can become elevated in people with kidney disease, as the kidneys play a role in regulating PTH.
    • Evaluating Calcium Imbalances: It helps in diagnosing and managing conditions such as kidney stones, osteoporosis, and vitamin D disorders.
  3. Procedure: The PTH test is a simple blood test. A healthcare provider will collect a blood sample, typically from a vein in the arm, using a needle. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis.
  4. Interpretation: The results of the PTH test are typically reported in picograms per milliliter (pg/mL) or picomoles per liter (pmol/L). Normal reference ranges can vary between labs, but in general, normal PTH levels typically range from 10 to 65 pg/mL or 1.1 to 7.2 pmol/L.
  5. Clinical Significance: Abnormal PTH levels can have significant clinical implications. Elevated PTH levels may indicate conditions like primary hyperparathyroidism or chronic kidney disease, while low PTH levels may suggest hypoparathyroidism. These conditions require further evaluation and management.
  6. Follow-Up: Depending on the results and the patient’s clinical history, additional tests and examinations may be necessary to determine the underlying cause of abnormal PTH levels and to guide treatment decisions.

Test Result, Unit, Normal Range, and Test Method

Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) Test-Introduction, Test Result, Unit, Normal Range, Test Method, Clinical Significance, and Keynotes
Table: Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) Test Result, Unit, Normal Range, and Test Method

Clinical Significance

The Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) test holds significant clinical importance due to its ability to provide valuable insights into various medical conditions related to calcium and phosphate balance in the body. Here are the key clinical significances of the PTH test:

  1. Diagnosis of Hyperparathyroidism: Elevated PTH levels are a hallmark of primary hyperparathyroidism. This condition occurs when one or more of the parathyroid glands become overactive and produce excess PTH. High PTH levels can lead to increased calcium release from bones and elevated blood calcium levels, potentially causing symptoms like kidney stones, bone pain, and muscle weakness. The PTH test is crucial for diagnosing this disorder.
  2. Assessment of Secondary Hyperparathyroidism: In chronic kidney disease (CKD), the kidneys may not effectively filter and excrete excess phosphate from the body, leading to imbalances in calcium and phosphate levels. This can stimulate the parathyroid glands to produce more PTH, resulting in secondary hyperparathyroidism. The PTH test helps monitor PTH levels in CKD patients and guides treatment strategies to manage mineral and bone disorders associated with kidney disease.
  3. Evaluation of Hypoparathyroidism: Low PTH levels indicate hypoparathyroidism, a condition characterized by reduced or absent parathyroid gland function. This condition leads to decreased calcium levels in the blood, which can result in muscle cramps, seizures, and other neurological symptoms. The PTH test is instrumental in diagnosing and monitoring hypoparathyroidism.
  4. Management of Calcium Disorders: The PTH test assists in evaluating and managing conditions related to abnormal calcium levels in the body. It helps identify the cause of high or low calcium levels, guiding healthcare providers in the appropriate treatment and monitoring of these conditions.
  5. Monitoring Treatment: Patients with parathyroid disorders, such as hyperparathyroidism, may undergo surgical intervention to remove overactive parathyroid glands. The PTH test is used postoperatively to assess the success of the surgery and ensure that PTH levels return to the normal range.
  6. Assessment of Bone Health: Abnormal PTH levels can impact bone health. Elevated PTH can lead to bone loss (osteoporosis), while decreased PTH levels can result in increased bone density. Monitoring PTH levels helps healthcare providers assess the risk of fractures and bone-related complications.
  7. Evaluation of Vitamin D Disorders: Vitamin D plays a role in calcium metabolism, and PTH levels can be influenced by vitamin D status. The PTH test may be used alongside vitamin D tests to understand the interplay between these two factors in conditions like vitamin D deficiency.
  8. Kidney Stone Evaluation: Elevated PTH levels can lead to increased urinary calcium excretion, contributing to the formation of kidney stones. The PTH test helps identify individuals at risk for kidney stones and guides preventive measures.


here are some keynotes on the Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) Test:

  1. Purpose: The PTH test measures the level of parathyroid hormone in the blood, helping diagnose and monitor conditions related to calcium and phosphate balance.
  2. Parathyroid Glands: PTH is produced by the parathyroid glands, four small glands located in the neck, and plays a crucial role in calcium regulation.
  3. Indications: The test is used to diagnose hyperparathyroidism (elevated PTH), hypoparathyroidism (low PTH), chronic kidney disease, vitamin D disorders, and calcium imbalances.
  4. Procedure: It involves a simple blood draw, usually from the arm, with the sample sent to a laboratory for analysis.
  5. Interpretation: PTH levels are measured in picograms per milliliter (pg/mL) or picomoles per liter (pmol/L). Normal ranges vary but are generally between 10-65 pg/mL or 1.1-7.2 pmol/L.
  6. Clinical Significance: Abnormal PTH levels can indicate various medical conditions, such as overactive or underactive parathyroid glands, kidney disease, and bone disorders.
  7. Treatment Guidance: The test assists in guiding treatment decisions, such as surgery for hyperparathyroidism or medications for hypoparathyroidism.
  8. Bone Health: PTH levels impact bone health; elevated PTH can lead to osteoporosis, while low PTH can increase bone density.
  9. Monitoring: PTH levels are monitored postoperatively after parathyroid surgery to ensure the glands are functioning correctly.
  10. Kidney Stones: Elevated PTH can contribute to kidney stone formation, making the test useful in assessing kidney stone risk.
  11. Vitamin D Interaction: PTH levels can be influenced by vitamin D status; the test may be used alongside vitamin D tests.
  12. Overall Wellness: The PTH test aids healthcare providers in maintaining overall patient health by diagnosing and managing conditions related to calcium metabolism.

Further Readings

  1. Medical Journals and Research Papers:
    • Search for scholarly articles and research papers on PTH testing in medical journals like “Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism,” “The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery,” and “Kidney International.” These sources provide in-depth insights into the clinical applications and advancements in PTH testing.
  2. Textbooks:
    • Consult medical textbooks such as “Williams Textbook of Endocrinology” by Shlomo Melmed and “Endocrinology” by J. Larry Jameson for comprehensive information on PTH, its regulation, and clinical significance.
  3. Clinical Guidelines:
    • Look for clinical guidelines provided by reputable medical organizations like the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and the National Kidney Foundation (NKF). They often offer recommendations on the use of PTH testing in clinical practice.
  4. Online Medical Resources:
    • Websites like Mayo Clinic ( and WebMD ( provide detailed information on PTH testing, its purpose, interpretation, and associated conditions.
  5. Government Health Agencies:
    • Explore the resources of health agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They may offer educational materials and guidelines on PTH testing and related disorders.
  6. Endocrinology and Nephrology Associations:
    • Visit the websites of professional organizations such as the Endocrine Society ( and the American Society of Nephrology ( They often publish clinical guidelines, research updates, and educational materials related to PTH and related conditions.
  7. Patient Advocacy Groups:
    • Organizations like the National Kidney Foundation and the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons often provide patient-focused resources and information about PTH disorders and testing.
  8. PubMed:
    • Utilize PubMed ( to search for specific research articles and reviews related to the Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) Test. You can find a wide range of scholarly articles on this platform.
  9. Academic Institutions:
    • Explore the websites of academic institutions and medical schools for educational materials, research findings, and clinical guidelines related to PTH testing.

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