Functions of phosphate

These include:

Formation of high energy compounds: e.g. ATP, creatinine phosphate; Formation of second messengers, e.g. cyclic AMP, inositol phosphates; Component of DNA/RNA, phospholipid membranes, bone; Phosphorylation (activation/inactivation) of enzymes; Intracellular anion.


This can be encountered in the following situations:

Factitious hypocalcaemia

Hypoalbuminaemia Hypomagnesaemia

True hypocalcaemia

Vitamin D deficiency or target organ resistance; Dietary deficiency or malabsorption; Impaired 25-hydroxylation: liver disease; Impaired 1 alpha-hydroxylation: renal failure; Accelerated loss: anticonvulsants; PTH deficiency or target organ resistance; Hyperphosphataemia;

Loss of calcium from the circulation: excessive deposition in the skeleton (osteoblastic metastases; hungry bone syndrome); chelation.

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