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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  • Fasting Required: NO
  • Preferred Specimen: Serum
  • Limitations: Liver dysfunction and other factors can cause a reduction in the clearance of serum ferritin resulting in an increase in serum ferritin levels. Ferritin is an acute phase reactant that may be elevated in a wide-range of inflammatory conditions and infections. Clinical studies suggest the sensitivity may be 35-48% and specificity of 75-78% to detect iron deficiency.
  • Reference Range(s):
    Age Male Female
    <4 Days Not established Not established
    4-14 Days 100-717 ng/mL 100-717 ng/mL
    15 Days-5 Months 14-647 ng/mL 14-647 ng/mL
    6-11 Months 8-182 ng/mL 8-182 ng/mL
    1-4 Years 5-100 ng/mL 5-100 ng/mL
    5-13 Years 14-79 ng/mL 14-79 ng/mL
    14-15 Years 13-83 ng/mL 6-67 ng/mL
    16-19 Years 11-172 ng/mL 6-67 ng/mL
    20-39 Years 20-345 ng/mL 10-154 ng/mL
    40-59 Years 20-380 ng/mL 10-232 ng/mL
    >59 Years 20-380 ng/mL 20-288 ng/mL
  • Turnaround Time: 3 Days
  • Test Code: 457