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FERRITIN

About the test
What is this test done for?
Ferritin is a blood test that measures the amount of a protein called ferritin that contains iron present in blood.
Why is it Done?

This is a specialized blood test for ferritin levels in blood done for

  • Ruling out cause of anemia i.e. iron deficiency anemia
  • Aiding in diagnosis
    • Hemochromatosis (high iron levels)
    • Liver disease
    • Adult Still’s disease
  • For monitoring therapy for hemosiderosis
When should it be performed?

This test is performed when a patient has

  • Excessive menstrual bleeding
  • Poor iron absorption from intestines
  • Internal bleeding
  • Extensive bleeding after injury or accident
  • Symptoms of anemia
    • Chronic headache
    • Dizziness, light headedness
    • Unexplained fatigue
    • Unexplained weakness
    • Irritability
    • Leg pains
    • Ringing in ears (tinnitus)
    • Shortness of breath
  • Chronic liver disease and/or spleen disease
  • Hyperthyroidism, leukemia, iron poisoning, frequent blood transfusions etc
How is it done
A blood sample will be collected from a vein in your arm. No special preparations like fasting required.
Results

The test result is normal, if levels are 30-300 µg/L (for males) and 18-115 µg/L (for females). It means

  • Good iron source
  • Absence of iron deficiency anemia

The levels of ferritin are low, if it is < 30 µg/L. It means

  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Depleted iron sources
  • Excessive menstrual bleeding, in case of females
  • Excessive bleeding from injury or accident
  • Poor iron absorption from intestines
  • prolonged internal bleeding

The levels of ferritin are high, if it is > 350 µg/L. It means

  • Excessive absorption of iron from intestines i.e. hemochromatosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory disorder
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple blood transfusions
  • Iron poisoning
Other Tests
  • CBC
    • It is a routine blood test carried out to evaluate hemoglobin and red blood cell (RBC) levels of blood
    • Low hemoglobin and RBC indicate iron deficiency anemia
  • RBC Morphology
    • It is a blood test carried out along with CBC, where a drop of blood is evaluated under microscope
    • Microcytic hypochromic RBCs indicate iron deficiency anemia
  • TIBC (Total Iron-binding Capacity)
    • It is a specialized blood test that evaluates the iron-binding capacity
    • Low TIBC indicate iron deficiency anemia
  • Transferrin
    • It is a specialized blood test that evaluates another protein like ferritin called as transferrin
    • Low levels of transferrin suggest iron deficiency anemia
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