Elevated levels of serum erythropoietin (EPO) occur in patients with anemias due to increased red cell destruction in hemolytic anemia and also in secondary polycythemias associated with impaired oxygen delivery to the tissues, impaired pulmonary oxygen exchange, abnormal hemoglobins with increased oxygen affinity, constriction of the renal vasculature, and inappropriate EPO secretion caused by certain renal and extrarenal tumors. Normal or depressed levels may occur in anemias due to increased oxygen delivery to tissues, in hypophosphatemia, and in polycythemia vera.
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- WHAT IT TESTS: Measures erythropoietin levels
- WHY TAKE IT: Help diagnose the cause of anemia.
- REQUIRES FAST? No.