Calcium: total or ionized?

Patricia A Schenck, Dennis J Chew
Veterinary Clinics of North America. Small Animal Practice 2008, 38 (3): 497-502, ix
Measurement of serum total calcium (tCa) has been relied on for assessment of calcium status, despite the fact that it is the ionized calcium (iCa) fraction that has biologic activity. Serum tCa does not accurately predict iCa status in many clinical conditions. For accurate assessment of iCa status, iCa should be directly measured. Anaerobic measurement of serum iCa under controlled conditions provides the most reliable assessment of calcium status; aerobic measurement of iCa with species-specific pH correction is highly correlated with anaerobic measurements.

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