Useful in the diagnosis of hypochromic, microcytic anemias. Decreased in iron deficiency anemia and increased in iron overload. Decreased ferritin levels are associated with iron deficiency anemia. Elevated levels, on the other hand, are associated with sideroblastic anemia, hemochromatosis, and acute iron poisoning. Ferritin may also be increased in acute and chronic liver disease (including hepatitis and hepatoma), in non-iron deficiency anemia (aplastic, megaloblastic, hemolytic, thalassemia major and minor, spherocytosis, porphyria cutanea tarda), alcoholism, pregnancy, malignancy (leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, renal cell carcinoma), infection, inflammation (arthritis), hyperthyroidism, Gaucher’s disease, acute myocardial infarction, and following a recent blood transfusion. In acute phase reactions, a bone marrow stain may be required to detect concurrent iron deficiency anemia.
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- WHAT IT TESTS: Measures ferritin levels.
- WHY TAKE IT: Determine how much iron your body stores.
- REQUIRES FAST? No.