Prediction of serum ionized calcium concentration by serum total calcium measurement in cats

Patricia A Schenck, Dennis J Chew
Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research, Revue Canadienne de Recherche Vétérinaire 2010, 74 (3): 209-13
Feline serum samples (n = 434) were classified as hypercalcemic, normocalcemic, or hypocalcemic based on both total calcium (tCa) and ionized calcium (iCa) concentrations. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), positive diagnostic likelihood ratio (PDLR), and negative diagnostic likelihood ratio (NDLR) were calculated for prediction of hypercalcemia and hypocalcemia in all samples, in hypoalbuminemic cats, and in those with chronic renal failure (CRF) as compared with cats that had other conditions. Diagnostic discordance in prediction of iCa using tCa was 40%. Sensitivity of tCa in prediction of ionized hypercalcemia was low and specificity was high. The PDLR for prediction of ionized hypercalcemia or hypocalcemia was low in all cats, especially in those with CRF. Due to the high level of diagnostic discordance, tCa should not be used to predict iCa concentration. Concentration of iCa should be measured directly when accurate assessment of calcium status is needed.

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