UCSF Navigation Bar

UCSF Departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Home Page

Lab Manual for UCSF Clinical Laboratories

Lab Manual for SFGH

Internal Resources

FERRITIN, SERUM

Item Value
Available Stat? No
Test code FERR
Performed by? Chemistry
Sendout? no
Price range $$$
In House Availability Mon - Fri
Sat -Su (12 pm - 8 pm)
Principle The Siemens Centaur assay is a two-site sandwich immunoassay using direct chemiluminometric technology.
Interpretation Values less than 10 ng/mL are found in iron deficiency anemia. Serum ferritin is elevated in conditions with increased reticuloendothelial iron stores, including:

1. All anemias or iron loss associated with hemosiderinuria (except those secondary to blood loss) and

2. Various states of iron overload, including primary and secondary hemosiderosis and hemochromatosis.

Note: Serum ferritin is frequently not elevated in pre-cirrhotic primary hemochromatosis.

3. Ferritin may be increased with inflammatory diseases, acute leukemias and lymphomas, liver disease and breast carcinoma. An increase in serum ferritin due to an acute phase response can mask a diagnostically low result.
Container type gold top gel tube
Amount to Collect 2 mL
Collection Instructions Grossly hemolyzed specimens are not acceptable. Plasma samples cannot be assayed.
Sample type Blood
Normal range
Females, Adult 10 - 291 ng/mL (SI units: 10 – 291 mcg/L)
Males, Adult 23 - 322 ng/mL (SI units: 23 - 322 mcg/L)

Stability 48 hrs at 2-8°C; serum should be frozen at -20°C for longer storage.
Interferences 1. Auto- (rheumatoid factor) and heterophile antibodies in human serum can react with reagent immunoglobulins, interfering with in vitro immunoassays. Patients routinely exposed to animals or to animal serum products can be prone to this interference. Anomalous values may be observed. The most common, although not exclusive, interference seen in immunometric ("two-site," "sandwich") assays is a spuriously high value. Results inconsistent with clinical findings or previous laboratory values can be investigated by the laboratory for this phenomenon. Call the Clinical Chemistry Laboratory Medicine Resident (x65527, pager 415-443-2311).

2. A paradoxical, false low result may rarely occur when patient samples with extremely high concentrations of peptide/protein analytes (e.g. AFP, hCG, PSA, etc.) are measured by immunometric ("two-site," or "sandwich") assays. For example, a true value of 3,000,000 U/L could be reported as <5 or 21 U/L. This phenomenon is called the "high dose hook effect." Results inconsistent with clinical findings or previous laboratory values can be investigated by the laboratory for this phenomenon. Call the Clinical Chemistry Laboratory Medicine Resident (x65527, pager 415-443-2311).
References 1. Finch CA, Bellotti V, Stray S, Lipschitz DA, Cook JD. Pippard MJ, Hueber HA: Plasma ferritin determination as a diagnostic tool. West J Med 145(5):657-663, 1986.

2. Jacobs, A and Worwood M: Ferritin in serum: Clinical and biochemiÂcal implications. N Engl J Med 292:951, 1975.

3. Pollycove M: Iron depletion, deficiency and overload (editorial). West J Med 145(5):684-685, 1986.

4. Pollycove M: Hemochromatosis. In The Metabolic Basis of Inherited Disease. Stanbury JB, Wyngaarden JB, Fredrickson DS, eds. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1978.

5. Pollycove, M: Iron overload syndromes. Clin Physiol Biochem 4:61, 1986.

6. Bayer 111653 Rev. F, 2001-07. Siemens Medical Solutions Diagnostics, Malvern, PA.

7. Tietz, N.W. Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnosis, ed. 4. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders, 1186-1187; 2006.
CPT coding 82728
Last Updated 10/20/2012 9:56:10 AM
Search Our Test Menu
UCSF home page UCSF home page About UCSF Search UCSF UCSF Medical Center