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Test ID IFG23 Intact Fibroblast Growth Factor 23, Serum

Specimen Required

Collection Container/Tube:

Preferred: Serum gel

Acceptable: Red top

Submission Container/Tube: Plastic vial

Specimen Volume: 0.5 mL

Collection Instructions: Centrifuge and aliquot serum into plastic vial.

Useful For

Diagnosing and monitoring tumor induced osteomalacia


Diagnosing X-linked hypophosphatemia or autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets


Diagnosing familial tumoral calcinosis with hyperphosphatemia

Method Name

Chemiluminescence Based Quantitative Sandwich Immunoassay.

Reporting Name

Intact Fibroblast Growth Factor 23

Specimen Type


Specimen Minimum Volume

0.25 mL

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Serum Refrigerated (preferred) 14 days
  Frozen  90 days

Clinical Information

Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) is a major regulator of phosphate (phosphorus) homeostasis. FGF23 is secreted primarily by bone, followed by thymus, heart, brain and, in low levels, by several other tissues. High serum phosphate (phosphorus) concentrations stimulate FGF23 expression and secretion through a yet poorly understood mechanism. Only intact FGF23 is considered bioactive. Intact FGF23 interacts with a specific receptor on renal tubular cells, decreasing expression of type IIa sodium/phosphate cotransporters, resulting in decreased phosphate reabsorption. In addition, gene transcription of 1-alpha-hydroxylase is downregulated, reducing bioactive 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D, thereby further decreasing phosphate reabsorption. Eventually, falling serum phosphate concentrations lead to diminished FGF23 secretion, closing the feedback loop.


Measurement of FGF23 can assist in diagnosis and management of disorders of phosphate and bone metabolism in patients with either normal or impaired renal function. When FGF23 levels are pathologically elevated in individuals with normal renal function, hypophosphatemia, with or without osteomalacia, ensues. This can occur in rare, usually benign, mixed connective tissue tumors that contain characteristic complex vascular structures, osteoclast-like giant cells, cartilaginous elements, and dystrophic calcifications. These neoplasms secrete FGF23 ectopically and autonomously (tumor-induced osteomalacia; TIO). In less than one-fourth of cases, a different benign or malignant soft tissue tumor type or, extremely rarely, a carcinoma, may be the cause of paraneoplastic FGF23 secretion. In either scenario, complete removal of the tumor cures the TIO.


Hypophosphatemia and skeletal abnormalities are also observed in X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH) and autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets (ADHR). In XLH, variants in the PHEX (phosphate-regulating neutral endopeptidase) gene, which encodes a cell-surface-bound protein-cleavage enzyme, affect bioactive FGF23 secretion. Although the pathogenesis of XLH is not fully understood, animal studies indicate that loss of PHEX function results in enhanced secretion of FGF23.


In ADHR, FGF23 variants render the protein resistant to proteolytic cleavage, thereby increasing FGF23 levels. However, not all FGF23 variants increase renal phosphate secretions. Variants that impair FGF23 signaling, rather than increase its protease resistance, are associated with the syndrome of familial tumoral calcinosis (ectopic calcifications) with hyperphosphatemia.


In patients with renal failure, FGF23 contributes to renal osteodystrophy. The patient's kidneys can no longer excrete sufficient amounts of phosphate. This leads to marked increases in FGF23 secretion as a compensatory response, aggravating the 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D deficiency of renal failure and the consequent secondary hyperparathyroidism.


In circulation, intact FGF-23 is cleaved to generate two biologically inactive fragments, a N-terminal fragment and a C-terminal fragment. FGF23 has a rapid clearance and short half-life which ranges between 46 and 58 min for intact and C-terminal fragments, respectively. Different types of FGF-23 immunoassays are available, those targeting the intact form (iFGF23), and those detecting C-terminal fragments (cFGF23). Various studies have suggested that iFGF23 assays are more sensitive than cFGF23for the detection of FGF23 concentrations in patients with TIO and patients with XLH. In addition, iFGF23 concentrations are not affected by iron deficiency which may lead to false positive results when using cFGF23 assays.

Reference Values

Pediatric (<18 yrs): ≤52 pg/mL

Adults (≥18 yrs): ≤ 59 pg/mL


Increased fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) concentrations are present in individuals with renal phosphate-wasting diseases such as autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets (ADHR), autosomal recessive hypophosphatemic rickets (ARHR), X-linked hypophosphatemia rickets (XLH) and tumor induced osteomalacia (TIO). Clinically, FGF23 measurement is useful in the differential diagnosis of these hypophosphatemic diseases since the patient presents with high FGF23 levels along with hypophosphatemia. In other causes of hypophosphatemia, such as vitamin D deficiency, FGF23 levels are low. In FGF23-producing tumors, a decrease in FGF23 concentrations following surgery is a reliable indication of complete tumor resection.


Intact FGF23 concentrations are elevated in patients with TIO or XLH. A study detected elevations of intact FGF23 in 19 of 22 TIO cases (86%).(1) In XLH, elevations of intact FGF23 were observed in 88% of patients (9 of10 children and 13 of 15 adults).(2) While levels of intact FGF23 in XLH are usually elevated, FGF23 concentrations within the reference interval do not exclude the disease and should be interpreted in the setting of phosphate concentrations (ie, an FGF23 concentration in the upper level of the reference interval in the context of hypophosphatemia might be indicative of XLH). In ADHR, FGF23 concentrations are not consistently elevated, and the severity of renal phosphate-wasting may wax and wane; FGF23 concentrations are normal during quiescent periods when serum phosphate levels are normal, and they are elevated during active, hypophosphatemic phases of the disease.(3) FGF23 concentrations are influenced by factors such as phosphate intake and vitamin D therapy. Therefore, intact FGF23 levels are most informative in untreated patients.

Clinical Reference

1. Imel EA, Peacock M, Pitukcheewanont P, et al: Sensitivity of fibroblast growth factor 23 measurements in tumor-induced osteomalacia. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Jun;91(6):2055-2061

2. Imel EA, Gray AK, Padgett LR, Econs MJ: Iron and fibroblast growth factor 23 in X-linked hypophosphatemia. Bone. 2014 Mar;60:87-92

3. Imel EA, Hui SL, Econs MJ: FGF23 concentrations vary with disease status in autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets. J Bone Miner Res. 2007 Apr;22(4):520-526

4. Haffner D, Emma F, Eastwood DM, et al: Clinical practice recommendations for the diagnosis and management of X-linked hypophosphatemia. Nat Rev Nephrol. 2019 Jul;15(7):435-455. doi: 10.1038/s41581-019-0152-5

5. Fauconnier C, Roy T, Gillerot G, et al: FGF23: Clinical usefulness and analytical evolution. Clin Biochem. 2019 Apr;66:1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2019.03.002

Day(s) Performed



Report Available

2 to 8 days

Test Classification

This test was developed, and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information


LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
IFG23 Intact Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 54390-0


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
607216 Intact Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 54390-0


If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send 1 of the following forms with the specimen:

Renal Diagnostics Test Request (T830)

Oncology Test Request (T729)