Should Hypophosphatemia be Treated?

  • Charles R. Kleeman
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 151)


The answer to the question is yes. Phosphate treatment is necessary when hypophosphatemia is part of a true phosphate depletion syndrome (PDS). However, hypophosphatemia, even as low as 1.0–2.0 mg/dl in adults or 2.0–3.0 mg/dl in preadolescent children, does not necessarily mean or cause PDS. There are many examples in adult and child medicine of chronic hypophosphatemia caused by a high renal clearance of phosphorus (P) (low TmP/GFR) i.e. liberal amounts of P in the urine with low serum P. These do not develop a PDS unless there is superimposed a true lack of available P for the metabolic and growth needs of the patient. In the latter setting P excretion decreases markedly or disappears completely from the urine. This intense tubular reabsorption of P is an invariable feature of true phosphate depletion.


Diabetic Ketoacidosis Phosphate Depletion Preadolescent Child Phosphorus Depletion Parenteral Hyperal Imentation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles R. Kleeman
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Nephrology, School of MedicineUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesCaliforniaUSA

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