Overview of FER
What is FER?
Ferritin levels reflect iron stoes in normal individuals. A low serum ferritin level is an indicator of iron depletion. This assay is clinically useful in distinguishing between Iron deficiency anemia (low level) and anemia of chronic disease (normal or high level). It is also useful to assess iron overload conditions like Hemochromatosis. Ferritin is also an acute phase reactant.
Why is FER done?
- If you have signs or symptoms of iron deficiency anemia like pallor, fatigue, weakness, headaches
- If your CBC shows that your hemoglobin and hematocrit are low and RBC’s are smaller and paler than normal which usually suggest iron deficiency anemia
- If you have signs or symptoms of increased accumolation of iron in the body like joint pain, abdominal pain, fatigue, loss of body hair
Preparation for FER
- Do not eat or drink anything other than water for 8-12 hours before the test.
Sample Type for FER
The sample type collected for Ferritin is: Blood
Interpreting FER results
- Low ferritin levels usually suggest iron deficiency anemia
- High ferritin levels are seen in sideroblastic anemia, hemachromatosis, hemolytic anemia or after multiple blood transfusions
- Ferritin levels are not usually done alone. They should be read in conjunction with other tests for iron
- Ferritin is also an important acute phase reactant so can be increased in inflammation, liver disease, chronic infections etc.
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