Why it's done

You may have a ferritin test for several reasons:

  • To diagnose a medical condition. Your doctor may suggest a ferritin test if other blood tests have shown that the level of oxygen-carrying protein in your red blood cells (hemoglobin) is low, or if the proportion of red blood cells to the fluid component in your blood (hematocrit) is low. These may indicate that you have iron deficiency anemia. A ferritin test can help confirm that diagnosis. Ferritin may also be measured in someone with restless legs syndrome.

    A ferritin test may also be used to help diagnose conditions such as hemochromatosis, liver disease and adult Still's disease, among others.

    When used to diagnose a medical condition, a ferritin test may be done in conjunction with an iron test and a total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) and transferrin test. These tests provide additional information about how much iron is in your body.

  • To monitor a medical condition. If you've been diagnosed with a disorder that results in too much iron in your body, such as hemochromatosis or hemosiderosis, your doctor may use a ferritin test to monitor your condition and guide treatment.
Feb. 10, 2017
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