A technique has been developed for the in vivo measurement of absorption of calcium in man after oral administration of 1 to 5 microcuries of calcium-47 and continuous counting of the radiation in the subject's arm with a large volume liquid scintillation counter. The maximum value for the arm counting technique is proportional to the absorption of tracer as measured by direct stool analysis. The rate of uptake by the arm is lower in subjects with either the malabsorption syndrome or hypoparathyroidism. The administration of vitamin D increases both the absorption rate and the maximum amount of calcium absorbed.
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