Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Phosphate in Blood Test

Phosphate in Blood Test

Test Overview

A phosphate test measures the amount of phosphate in a blood sample. Phosphate is a charged particle (ion) that contains the mineral phosphorus. The body needs phosphorus to build and repair bones and teeth, help nerves function, and make muscles contract. Most (about 85%) of the phosphorus contained in phosphate is found in bones. The rest of it is stored in tissues throughout the body.

The kidneys help control the amount of phosphate in the blood. Extra phosphate is filtered by the kidneys and passes out of the body in the urine. A high level of phosphate in the blood is usually caused by a kidney problem.

The amount of phosphate in the blood affects the level of calcium in the blood. Calcium and phosphate in the body react in opposite ways: as blood calcium levels rise, phosphate levels fall. A hormone called parathyroid hormone (PTH) regulates the levels of calcium and phosphorus in your blood. When the phosphorus level is measured, a vitamin D level, and sometimes a PTH level, is measured at the same time. Vitamin D is needed for your body to take in phosphate.

The relation between calcium and phosphate may be disrupted by some diseases or infections. For this reason, phosphate and calcium levels are usually measured at the same time.

Why It Is Done

Why It Is Done

This test may be done to check phosphate levels if you have kidney disease or bone disease. It helps find problems with certain glands, such as the parathyroid glands. The test is also used to find a cause for abnormal vitamin D levels.

How To Prepare

How To Prepare

Tell your doctor ALL the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies you take. Some may affect the test results. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the test and how soon to do it.

How It Is Done

How It Is Done

Blood test

A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from the arm.

Heel stick

A heel stick is used to get a blood sample from a baby. The baby's heel is poked, and several drops of blood are collected. A baby may have a tiny bruise where the heel was poked

How long the test takes

This test will take a few minutes.

How It Feels

How It Feels

Blood test

When a blood sample is taken, you may feel nothing at all from the needle. Or you might feel a quick sting or pinch.

Heel stick

A brief pain, like a sting or a pinch, is usually felt when the lancet punctures the skin. A baby may feel a little discomfort with the skin puncture.

Risks

Risks

Blood test

There is very little chance of having a problem from this test. When a blood sample is taken, a small bruise may form at the site.

Heel stick

There is very little risk of a problem from a heel stick. A baby may get a small bruise at the puncture site.

Results

Results

Phosphate levels are usually higher in children than in adults. That's because of the active bone growth occurring in children.

Results are usually available in 1 to 2 hours.

Normal

Each lab has a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should show the range that your lab uses for each test. The normal range is just a guide. Your doctor will also look at your results based on your age, health, and other factors. A value that isn't in the normal range may still be normal for you.

High values

High phosphate levels may be caused by:

  • Some tumors such as lymphoma.
  • Kidney disease, underactive parathyroid glands (hypoparathyroidism), acromegaly, healing fractures, untreated diabetic ketoacidosis, or certain bone diseases.
  • Too much vitamin D in the body.

Low values

Low phosphate levels may be caused by:

  • Hyperparathyroidism, certain bone diseases (such as osteomalacia), lack of vitamin D, or some kidney or liver diseases.
  • Severe malnutrition or starvation.
  • A condition such as sprue that prevents the intestines from absorbing nutrients properly.
  • Alcohol use disorder.
  • High calcium levels.
  • Some types of tumors.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Calcium (Ca) in Blood Test Phosphate in Urine Test Calcium (Ca) in Urine Test Medical Tests: Questions to Ask the Doctor

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details