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Ferritin Test

What Is a Ferritin Test?

  • A ferritin test is a laboratory blood test that measures the amount of ferritin in a person's blood stream.
  • Ferritin is the major iron storage protein in the body, so the ferritin test is ordered as an indirect way to measure the iron stores in the body.
  • The ferritin test is often ordered as part of a panel of tests that examine the levels of body iron and the effects of abnormalities in iron storage.
  • It may be ordered together with an iron level, a total iron binding capacity test, or blood cell counts.

What Preparation Is Necessary for the Ferritin Test?

The ferritin test is measured in a blood sample withdrawn from a vein as for any routine blood test. It can be performed at any time of day, and no special preparation for the test is necessary.

How Are the Results of the Ferritin Test Interpreted?

The normal range for ferritin levels is rather broad and varies slightly among laboratories.

Normal ferritin levels are higher for men than for women. High or low levels of ferritin are suggestive of an iron storage disorder or iron deficiency anemia, respectively. As with any blood test, the result is interpreted together with the result of other laboratory tests and a thorough patient physical examination and medical history to establish a diagnosis.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/21/2016

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