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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Hematology Topics

Question: Low ferritin, high hemoglobin

 Whitetopaz - Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:04 pm

I have symptoms of anemia..pallor, breathessness which is always put right by iron blood tests show low ferritin...fine that concurrs...but high normal hemoglobin and high noirmal hematicrit (top of range). my platelet cout is very low normal...165.........

Can anyone explain these results?


 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Thu Jan 26, 2006 3:17 pm

User avatar Hello,

The serum ferritin test is ordered to see how much iron your body has stored for future use. Reduced serum ferritin concentration is the most useful test for diagnosis of iron deficiency.[1] As the body iron stores decrease so does the serum ferritin. A serum ferritin concentration below 12 ug/L is virtually diagnostic of absent iron stores.

On the other hand, 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.[2]

The goal of therapy in individuals with iron deficiency anemia is not only to repair the anemia, but also to replenish the iron stores. Sustained treatment for a period of 6 to 12 months after correction of the anemia will be necessary.

The hemoglobin concentration begins to increase after the first week and is usually normal within 6 weeks. Microcytosis may take as long as 4 months to resolve completely. The serum ferritin concentration remains below 12 ug/L until the anemia is corrected and then gradually rises as storage iron is replenished.

1. Goddard AF, McIntyre AS, Scott BB: Guidelines for the management of iron deficiency anaemia. British Society of Gastroenterology. Gut 46(suppl 3-4):IV1, 2000.
2. Cook J: The nutritional assessment of iron status. Arch Latinoam Nutr 49:11S, 1999.

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