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Test Code FER Ferritin

Additional Codes

Epic: LAB68

Specimen Required

Collection Container/Type

Preferred: Serum gel

Acceptable: Green top (Lithium heparin)

Submission Container/Tube: Plastic vial
Specimen Volume: 3.0 mL
Collection Instructions: Centrifuge and separate cells after clot formation and within 4 hours of collection.  Remove serum if testing will be delayed more than 24 hours.

Specimen Minimum Volume

0.15 mL

Specimen Stability

Room temperature: 24 hours
Refrigerated on gel: 24 hours
Refrigerated off gel: 7 days
Frozen: 1 year

Reference Range

Male: 21.8 - 274.7 ng/mL

Female: 4.6-204.0 ng/mL

Rejection Due To

Samples stored on gel >24 hours, unlabeled, mislabeled, wrong tube type, hemolyzed, QNS, exceeds specimen/stability requirements.

Report Available

Same day

Clinical Significance

    Ferritin is an iron-containing protein that functions as an iron storage compound, especially in hepatocytes and reticuloendothelial cells.  Each ferritin molecule can consist of 20% iron by weight when fully saturated.  About 25% of the iron in the body is present in various storage forms, 2/3 present as ferritin.
A low serum ferritin value is a good indicator of iron depletion.  Ferritin is useful to distinguish between iron deficient anemia (ferritin values decreased) and anemia of chronic disease (ferritin values normal or increased).  Ferritin is a good screening test to distinguish between microcytosis due to iron deficiency (ferritin value decreased) and microcytosis due to thalassemia (ferritin values normal or increased).  Elevated ferritin levels are seen in iron overload states, such as hereditary hemochromatosis, acute hepatitis, and Gaucher’s disease. Slightly elevated ferritin levels are seen in malignancy and chronic inflammatory diseases.

Method Name

Chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (CMIA)


If the Ferritin results are inconsistent with clinical evidence, additional testing is supposed to confirm the result.
Patients receiving mouse monoclonal antibodies for diagnosis or treatment may develop Human anti-mouse antibodies (HAMA).  HAMA may cause falsely elevated or decreased values when tested with assay kits which employ mouse monoclonal antibodies.
 Presence of Heterophile antibodies in patient specimens may also cause falsely elevated or falsely decreased results.



Specimen Type


Day(s) Performed