PTH is a 84 amino acid peptide
hormone which is responsible for the regulation of serum calcium levels
within a narrow range. PTH is secreted in response to decrease in
serum calcium levels by increasing the renal reabsorption of calcium
and lowering reabsorption of phosphorus. The measurement of PTH is
a very useful tool in the differential diagnosis and management of
hypercalcemia. PTH assays can be of help in the diagnosis of tumors
and hyperplasia of the parathyroid gland, as well as in localizing
hyperfunctioning parathyroid tissue by assay of samples obtained via
venous catheterization. The native or intact (1-84) PTH has a short
half-life, measured in minutes, whereas the carboxy and midmolecule
fragments, which are biologically inactive, have half-lives 10- to
20-fold higher. The high concentrations of biologically inactive fragments
have interfered with use of C-terminal or midmolecule assays for evaluation
of parathyroid function in patients with impaired renal function.
Intact PTH assays provide a more accurate assessment of parathyroid
patients including those with various renal diseases.
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