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Test Code EPOS Erythropoietin, Serum

Reporting Name

Erythropoietin (EPO), S

Useful For

An aid in distinguishing between primary and secondary polycythemia


Differentiating between appropriate secondary polycythemia (eg, high-altitude living, pulmonary disease, tobacco use) and inappropriate secondary polycythemia (eg, tumors)


Identifying candidates for erythropoietin (EPO) replacement therapy (eg, those with chronic renal failure)


Evaluating patients undergoing EPO replacement therapy who demonstrate an inadequate hematopoietic response

Performing Laboratory

Mayo Clinic Laboratories in Rochester

Specimen Type


Specimen Required


Preferred: Serum gel

Acceptable: Red top

Specimen Volume: 0.6 mL

Collection Instructions: Morning collection, 7:30 a.m.-12 p.m. is preferred due to diurnal variation. For more information see Cautions.

Specimen Minimum Volume

0.5 mL

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Serum Refrigerated (preferred) 14 days
  Frozen  14 days
  Ambient  7 days

Reference Values

2.6-18.5 mIU/mL

Day(s) and Time(s) Performed

Monday through Friday; 6 a.m.-12 a.m.

Saturday; 6 a.m.-5 p.m.

Test Classification

This test has been cleared, approved or is exempt by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is used per manufacturer's instructions. Performance characteristics were verified by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements.

CPT Code Information


LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
EPO Erythropoietin (EPO), S 15061-5


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
EPO Erythropoietin (EPO), S 15061-5

Clinical Reference

1. Tefferi A: Diagnosing polycythemia vera: a paradigm shift. Mayo Clin Proc. 1999;74:159-162

2. Hoagland HC: Myelodysplastic (preleukemia) syndromes: the bone marrow factory failure problem. Mayo Clin Proc. 1995;70:673-677

3. Casadeval N: Pure red cell aplasia and anti-erythropoietin antibodies in patients treated with epoetin. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2003;18 (Suppl. 8):viii37-viii41

4. Fisher JW: Erythropoietin: physiology and pharmacology update. Exp Biol Med. 2003;228:1-14

5. Strippoli GFM, Manno C, Schena FP, Craig JC: Haemoglobin and haematocrit targets for the anaemia of chronic kidney disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Oct 18;(4):CD003967

6. Tefferi A: Polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia: 2012 update on diagnosis, risk stratification, and management. Am J Hematol. 2012 Mar;87:285-293. doi: 10.1002/ajh.23135

7. Moore E, Bellomo R: Erythropoietin (EPO) in acute kidney injury. Ann Intensive Care. 2011 March;1(3). doi: 10.1186/2110-5820-1-3

8. Macdougall I: Anaemia and chronic renal failure. Medicine. 2011;39(7):425-428. doi: 10.1016/j.mpmed.2011.04.009

Method Description

The Access erythropoietin (EPO) assay is a 2-site immunoenzymatic (sandwich) assay. A sample is added to a reaction vessel along with the paramagnetic particles coated with mouse monoclonal anti-EPO, blocking reagent and the alkaline phosphatase conjugate. After incubation in a reaction vessel, materials bound to the solid phase are held in a magnetic field while unbound materials are washed away. Then, the chemiluminescent substrate Lumi-Phos 530 is added to the vessel and light generated by the reaction is measured with a luminometer. The light production is directly proportional to the concentration of EPO in the sample. The amount of analyte in the sample is determined from a stored, multi-point calibration curve.(Instruction manual: Beckman Coulter Access EPO. Beckman Coulter, Inc; 2019)

Analytic Time

1 day

Reject Due To

Gross hemolysis Reject
Gross lipemia OK
Gross Icterus OK

Method Name

Immunoenzymatic Assay


If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send 1 of the following forms with the specimen:

-General Request (T239)

-Benign Hematology Test Request (T755)