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Ferritin

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • Having a blood transfusion in the past 4 months.
  • Being a female athlete whose amount of activity has changed her menstrual cycle.
  • Having conditions that cause inflammation in the body, such as from illness or from a surgery.
  • Having a radioactive scan in the past 3 days.
  • Taking medicines, such as birth control pills and antithyroid medicines.
  • Age. Older adults may have a higher ferritin value.
  • Eating a diet high in red meats.

What To Think About

  • A ferritin test is often done with other tests to check the amount of iron in the blood, especially the iron and iron-binding capacity levels. To learn more, see the topic Iron (Fe).
  • A bone marrow biopsy camera.gif can check the amount of iron stored in the bone marrow. To learn more, see the topic Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy.
  • Because inflammation in the body can cause high ferritin levels, a test result that is slightly high does not always mean a buildup of iron (hemochromatosis) is present.

Citations

  1. Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Joseph O'Donnell, MD - Hematology, Oncology
Current as of August 6, 2012
1 | 2 | 3

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 06, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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