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Ceruloplasmin

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Formal name: Ceruloplasmin, serum
Related tests: Copper

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To measure the amount of ceruloplasmin in the blood; to help diagnose Wilson disease; sometimes to help identify conditions associated with copper deficiencies

When to Get Tested?

When you have jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, behavioral changes, tremors, or other symptoms that a health practitioner thinks may be due to Wilson disease or, rarely, to copper deficiency; at intervals when monitoring is recommended

Sample Required?

A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm

Test Preparation Needed?

None

The Test Sample

What is being tested?

Ceruloplasmin is a copper-containing enzyme that plays a role in the body's iron metabolism. This test measures the amount of ceruloplasmin in the blood.

Copper is an essential mineral that plays a role in the regulation of iron metabolism, formation of connective tissue, energy production at the cellular level, and the function of the nervous system. It is absorbed from food and liquids by the intestines and then transported to the liver, where it is stored or used to produce a variety of enzymes.

The liver binds copper to a protein to produce ceruloplasmin and then releases it into the bloodstream. About 95% of the copper in the blood is bound to ceruloplasmin. Because of this, the ceruloplasmin test can be used along with one or more copper tests to help diagnose Wilson disease, an inherited disorder that can lead to excess storage of copper in the liver, brain, and other organs.

How is the sample collected for testing?

A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm.

NOTE: If undergoing medical tests makes you or someone you care for anxious, embarrassed, or even difficult to manage, you might consider reading one or more of the following articles: Coping with Test Pain, Discomfort, and Anxiety, Tips on Blood Testing, Tips to Help Children through Their Medical Tests, and Tips to Help the Elderly through Their Medical Tests.

Another article, Follow That Sample, provides a glimpse at the collection and processing of a blood sample and throat culture.

Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?

No test preparation is needed.

The Test

Common Questions

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Article Sources

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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.

Sources Used in Current Review

(Updated 2014 July 23). Wilson Disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/wilson-disease/Pages/facts.aspx through http://www.niddk.nih.gov. Accessed December 2014.

Dugdale, D. (Updated 2013 February 2).Ceruloplasmin. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003662.htm through http://www.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed December 2014.

Strathmann, F. et. al. (Updated 2014 November). Wilson Disease. ARUP Consult [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.arupconsult.com/Topics/WilsonDz.html?client_ID=LTD through http://www.arupconsult.com. Accessed December 2014.

(© 1995–2014). Ceruloplasmin, Serum. Mayo Clinic Mayo Medical Laboratories [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Overview/8364 through http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com. Accessed December 2014.

Johnson, L. (Revised 2013 April). Copper Deficiency and Toxicity. Merck Manual Professional Edition [On-line information]. Available online through http://www.merckmanuals.com. Accessed December 2014.

Gilroy, R. (Updated 2014 May 2). Wilson Disease. Medscape Drugs & Diseases [On-line information]. Available online at http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/183456-overview through http://emedicine.medscape.com. Accessed December 2014.

Lorincz, M. (2012). Recognition and Treatment of Neurologic Wilson's Disease. Medscape Multispecialty from Semin Neurol. 2012;32(5):538-543 [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/805129 through http://www.medscape.com. Accessed December 2014.

Sources Used in Previous Reviews

Clarke, W. and Dufour, D. R., Editors (2006). Contemporary Practice in Clinical Chemistry, AACC Press, Washington, DC. Christenson, R., Chapter 17, Proteins: Analysis and Interpretation in Serum, Urine, and Cerebrospinal Fluid. Pp. 197 - 210.

Cox, D. and Roberts, E. (2006 January 24). Wilson Disease. GeneReviews [On-line information]. Available online through http://www.genetests.org. Accessed on 7/17/07.

Thomas, Clayton L., Editor (1997). Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. F.A. Davis Company, Philadelphia, PA [18th Edition]. Pp. 353.

(2007 January). Wilson's Disease Remains Difficult to Diagnose. Medscape from Reuters Health, from Gut 2007;56:115-120. [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/550386 through http://www.medscape.com. Accessed on 7/27/07.

Das, S. and Ray, K. (2006 October 13). Wilson's Disease: An Update. Medscape from Nature Clinical Practice Neurology [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/543866 through http://www.medscape.com. Accessed on 7/27/07.

Van Voorhees, B. (2007 January 22). Ceruloplasmin. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003662.htm. Accessed on 7/27/07.

Wu, A. (2006). Tietz Clinical Guide to Laboratory Tests, Fourth Edition. Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, Missouri. Pp. 230 - 233.

Dugdale, D. (Updated 2009 February 23). Ceruloplasmin. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003662.htm. Accessed November 2010.

(© 1995-2010). Unit Code 8364: Ceruloplasmin, Serum. Mayo Clinic, Mayo Medical Laboratories [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Overview/8364 through http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com. Accessed November 2010.

McMillin, G. and Roberts, W. (Updated 2010 May). Wilson Disease. ARUP Consult [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.arupconsult.com/Topics/WilsonDz.html?client_ID=LTD#tabs=0 through http://www.arupconsult.com. Accessed November 2010.

Mak, C. et. al. (2008 June 12). Diagnostic Accuracy of Serum Ceruloplasmin in Wilson Disease: Determination of Sensitivity and Specificity by ROC Curve Analysis among ATP7B-Genotyped Subjects. Clinical Chemistry. 2008;54:1356-1362 [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.clinchem.org/cgi/content/full/54/8/1356 through http://www.clinchem.org. Accessed November 2010.

Johnson, L. (Revised 2008 August). Copper. Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec01/ch005/ch005c.html?qt=wilson disease&alt=sh#sec01-ch005-ch005c-534 through http://www.merckmanuals.com. Accessed November 2010.

Wu, A. (© 2006). Tietz Clinical Guide to Laboratory Tests, 4th Edition: Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, MO. Pp 230 - 233.

Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics. Burtis CA, Ashwood ER, Bruns DE, eds. St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders; 2006, Pp. 556 - 559.

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