Ferritin

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Overview
Interpreting Results

Overview of Ferritin

What is Ferritin?

Ferritin is a protein that acts as the main storage for iron inside the cells. The Ferritin Test checks for the levels of the ferritin in blood to determine the levels of iron in the body and judge the body’s capacity to store iron.

Why is Ferritin done?

The Ferritin Test is performed:

·         To confirm iron deficiency anemia detected in routine check-ups

·         To determine iron deficiency or iron overload in the body

·         To determine the capacity of the body to store iron



What does Ferritin Measure?

Iron is an essential micronutrient that is required by the body in trace amounts. Iron plays an essential role in a number of body activities, the most important of which is in the formation and functioning of red blood cells or RBCs. Iron is an integral part of a protein called hemoglobin in the RBCs. RBCs transport oxygen from the lungs to other body tissues.

Iron is not produced by the body and its only source is diet. Only a minute quantity of iron is required by the body. Most of the iron obtained from the food is converted to hemoglobin in the RBCs. Excess iron absorbed from food is stored as ferritin and hemosiderin, and a small amount as myoglobin and enzymes. Ferritin is stored in the liver, spleen, bone marrow, and skeletal muscles. When iron levels in the blood drop, it is recovered from these stored iron reserves.

Iron deficiency may occur due to insufficient dietary consumption of iron, excessive loss of blood from injuries, bleeding during periods, during pregnancy, etc. Iron deficiency could also be because of diseases like Celiac disease which prevent absorption of nutrients from food. Increased ferritin levels in the blood may occur due to excess iron consumption through diet or iron supplements, multiple blood transfusions within a short duration, liver damage, alcoholism, or due to conditions like hemochromatosis where the body absorbs excessive iron from food. Ferritin is also an acute phase reactant which means that its levels increase in response to inflammation.  Increased ferritin levels can be observed in patients suffering from chronic infections, autoimmune diseases, liver diseases, kidney failure, and in presence of malignant tumors.

A very small amount of ferritin is found in circulation. Iron binds to another protein called transferrin in blood. The Ferritin Test is performed in combination with other iron measurement tests like Iron Test, Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) Test, and Unsaturated Iron Binding Capacity (UIBC) Test. The results are interpreted accordingly.


Preparation for Ferritin

  • Do not eat or drink anything other than water for 8-12 hours before the test.

Sample Type for Ferritin

The sample type collected for Ferritin is: Blood

Interpreting Ferritin results

Interpretations

Normal levels:

·         Adults:

Males: 20 to 250 ng/mL

Females 18 to 39 years age: 10 to 120 ng/mL

Females over 40 years age: 12 to 263 ng/mL

·         Children:

Newborns 25 to 200 ng/mL

Infants 1 month age: 200 to 600 ng/mL

Infants 2 to 5 months age: 50 to 200 ng/mL

Children 6 months to 15 years age: 7 to 140 ng/mL

Ferritin test results are usually interpreted in combination with other iron tests as follows:


Iron

TIBC

UIBC

Transferrin Saturation

Ferritin

Condition

Low

High

High

Low

Low

Iron Deficiency

High

Low

Low

High

High

Hemochromatosis, Hemosiderosis

Low

Low/Normal

Low/Normal

Low/Normal

High/Normal

Chronic Illness

High

Normal/Low

Low/Normal

High

High

Hemolytic Anemia

Normal/High

Normal/Low

Low/Normal

High

High

Sideroblastic Anemia

High

Normal

Low

High

Normal

Iron Poisoning

Higher than normal levels of ferritin in blood is called hyperferritinemia.

Lower than normal levels of ferritin in blood is called hypoferritinemia.

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About Dr. Lal Pathlab

We focus on providing patients quality diagnostic healthcare services in India. Through our network, we offer patients convenient locations for their diagnostic healthcare services and efficient service. With over 3368 diagnostic and related healthcare tests and services offered, we believe we are capable of performing substantially all of the diagnostic healthcare tests and services currently prescribed by physicians in India. Our key competitive strengths are: Business model focused on the patient as a customer and an established consumer healthcare brand associated with quality services, in a market where patients generally choose their diagnostic healthcare service provider. Well-positioned to leverage upon one of the fastest-growing segments of the Indian healthcare industry. A network whose growth yields greater economies of scale, combined with a hub and spoke model that is scalable for further growth. Centralized information technology platform that fully integrates our network and is scalable. Attractive financial performance, financial profile and return on invested capital. Experienced leadership team with strong industry expertise and successful track record. Some of our laboratories have achieved International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, certification for their quality systems. Our National Reference Laboratory has obtained ISO 9001:2008 certification (for the performance of routine and advanced diagnostic pathology testing services, including clinical trials), ISO 15189:2007 (for quality management in medical laboratories), ISO 15189:2012 certification (in the field of medical testing) and ISO 27001:2013 certification (for establishing an effective information management system that maintains and processes information security at our data center).

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