1. Four different methods of calculating calcium absorption by radioactive calcium procedures have been compared with each other and with net calcium absorption in calcium-balance studies in 100 consecutive studies on 71 patients.
2. All four isotope procedures yielded highly significant correlations with net calcium absorption derived from the balance studies, but there was little to choose between the validity of the double-isotope and single-isotope procedure judged by these criteria.
3. The rate of calcium absorption calculated from one or other isotope procedure correlated better with net calcium absorption than did the fraction of the radioactive calcium absorbed.
4. The measurement of plasma radioactivity 1 h after single-isotope administration, corrected for body weight, proved almost as useful as the more complex procedures but would be expected to underestimate calcium absorption in states of very high bone turnover.