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Parathyroid hormone assays and their clinical use

Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan, MD, MPH
Harald Jüppner, MD
Section Editor
Clifford J Rosen, MD
Deputy Editor
Jean E Mulder, MD


Parathyroid hormone 1-84 (PTH[1-84]) is the biologically active hormone produced by the parathyroid glands and secreted into the systemic circulation. It exerts its effects through the interaction of its first 34 amino acids with the type 1 PTH/PTHrP receptor (PTHR1). PTH fragments, containing carboxyl-(C) or amino-terminal (N-terminal) portions of the molecule that arise from either intraglandular or peripheral degradation of the hormone, are also present in the circulation.

PTH(1-84) has a plasma half-life of two to four minutes. In comparison, the C-terminal fragments, which are cleared principally by the kidney, have a half-life that is 5 to 10 times longer. As a result, circulating immunoreactive PTH in normocalcemic subjects comprises:

PTH(1-84) – 5 to 30 percent

C-terminal fragments – 70 to 95 percent

N-terminal fragments – a small percentage

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jan 05, 2016.
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