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Test Code CA Calcium, Total, Plasma

Specimen Type

Preferred: Plasma

Acceptable: Serum


Preferred: Li Heparin (Mint Green or Dark Green)

Acceptable: Serum Red Top Tube or Gold SST

Preferred Volume

3 mL

UCMC Collection Instructions

Once per admit. If serial monitoring needed, Q daily.

Patient should be fasting.



Turnaround Time

4 hours

STAT Availability


Test Usage

The test is used for the diagnosis and monitoring of hypocalcemia (calcium deficiency) and hypercalcemia (excess calcium) in serum.

Test Methodology

Spectrophotometric, endpoint

CPT Code


Test Includes

Quantitative determination of total calcium in plasma

STAT Turnaround Time

1 hour

Reference Range

8.4 – 10.2 mg/dL 

Critical Results

Critical Values:<6 mg/dL and  >13 mg/dL

Test Limitations

Drugs containing strontium salts may lead to significantly increased calcium results.
Intravenously administered contrast media for MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) contain chelating complexes which may interfere with the determination of calcium. A sharp decrease in calcium values was observed when gadodiamide (GdDTPA-BMA) was administered. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer with regard to the retention time of the contrast medium.

Minimum Volume

2 mL

Fee Code