Ferritin, a protein but also an indicator of the body’s iron levels and stores is valuable when tested alongside other proteins and lipids to identify the function of muscle metabolism, transporting oxygen and DNA synthesis.
Anaemia is the cause of iron deficiency a shortage of red blood cells resulting in the stores being inadequate in meeting the necessary needs for metabolism. Literature has identified that this could be the result of haemolysis and excessive bleeding. Testing regarding Ferritin, renal function and glucose are used to determine the sole cause of anaemia. Some symptoms of this deficiency include extreme fatigue, decreased productivity, diminished physical performance and significantly reduced immunity. However, in stark contrast having an over accumulation of iron in the body can be the result of hereditary disorders of haemochromatosis and thalassaemia.
Iron seeks to bind with a protein as it’s very reactive as a biomarker, so while being stored in cells iron binds to Ferritin, this in turn makes Ferritin an ideal predictor of iron reserves. Toxicity from elemental iron causes tissue damage and collates free radicals. Excess iron collated in the body over time causes serious damage to the liver and vital organs, causing liver failure, cirrhosis, skin pigmentation, heart failure and arrythmia. There is no way to eliminate excess iron from the body, so regulation of iron stores is vital to check of changes in iron absorption. As Ferritin is the primary iron storage, without it iron levels cannot be regulated and can cause serious damage.
Ferritin itself is produced on a very small level before being released in the bloodstream. During inflammation episodes, due to infections, rare conditions or even obesity, Ferritin levels can become significantly elevated. It poses as a challenge to accurately diagnose iron deficiency and can unfortunately lead to a misled evaluation regarding the possible overload or iron. This issue is being worked on to resolve and be able to accurately measure iron levels while inflammation is present. CRP may also be used as an aid to help rule out the elevated Ferritin levels from the cause of inflammation.
Ferritin is described as ‘an intracellular hollow protein’, comprised of around 4500 iron atoms within the iron core, surrounding the core are 24 subunits. In contrast, a reduced Ferritin level in serum indicates a deficiency and or depletion of iron stores, however it may not determine advanced depletion.
Randox Laboratories offer an accurate Ferritin Assay used to detect iron levels and aid in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as anaemia.
‘Benefits of the Ferritin Assay include’.
Wide measuring range of 5.08 – 443 mg/dl for the accurate detection of clinically important results
Automated immunoturbidimetric assay eliminating the need for any dedicated equipment.
Liquid ready-to-use reagents for convenience and ease-of-use
Stable to expiry when stored at +2 to +8°C.
Applications available detailing instrument-specific settings for the convenient use of the Randox Ferritin assay on a wide range of biochemistry analysers
Complementary controls and calibrators offering a complete testing package.
Some clinical points to note include. Ferritin has been observed in 89% of patients with Adult-Onset Stills Disease there have been elevated Ferritin levels of five times the normal range in over half of patients with this disease. Covid-19 critically ill patients experienced elevated concentrations, along with Sepsis patients that are not recovering also experience a stark increase in their Ferritin levels.