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Forum Name: Hematology Topics

Question: High ferritin level


 dundasgal - Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:33 am

I have had a past history of a low ferritin level of 9 followed by years of stability. It has recently elevated from 92-134-170 over the last four months with a normal hemoglobin. Is this significant? I have been invetigated for auto immune disease with no dignosis and have Raynaud's disease. Blood pressure is slighty elevated. I am on a diuretic, and a vasodilator for the Raynuad's. have been followed by rheumatolgy but now only by my GP. A medical response woulf be welcome. At one point i was checked out for Waldenstrom's Macrobulenemia due to a "thick blood result". Tests were done with no cancer diagnosis. thank you
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:41 am

User avatar Hello,

It would be very difficult to evaluate your case online. Especially when it seems most causes have been investigated by your doctor. I will try, however, to provide a few ideas.

A normal serum ferritin concentration does not confirm the presence of storage iron, because serum ferritin concentration may be increased independently of body iron by infection, inflammation, liver disease, malignancy, and other conditions.[1]

An increased ferritin (>400 ng/ml) occurs in iron excess and in the following: iron overload from hemochromatosis or hemosiderosis; oral or parenteral iron administration; inflammatory diseases; acute or chronic liver disease involving alcoholism; acute myoblastic or lymphoblastic leukemia; other malignancies (Hodgkin’s disease, breast carcinoma, malignant lymphoma); hyperthyroidism; hemolytic anemia, megaloblastic anemia; thalassemia (normal or sometimes higher).

Ferritin is normally found mainly inside of cells, with only a small amount in the blood. When there is damage to organs that contain ferritin (especially the liver, spleen, and bone marrow), ferritin levels can become elevated even though the total amount of iron in the body is normal.

As long as your ferritin has not increased over the normal range it would just mean that your body stores of iron have been replenished.

References:
==========
1. Cook J: The nutritional assessment of iron status. Arch Latinoam Nutr 49:11S, 1999.

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