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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 other conditions associated with copper deficiencies

When to Get Tested?

When you have jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, behavioral changes, tremors, or other symptoms that your doctor 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?


The Test Sample

What is being tested?

This test measures the amount of ceruloplasmin in the blood. Ceruloplasmin is a copper-containing enzyme that plays a role in the body's iron metabolism. Copper is an essential mineral that is absorbed into the body through the diet. It is absorbed in 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 apoceruloplasmin 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 and evaluate copper metabolism.

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

Dugdale, D. (Updated 2009 February 23). Ceruloplasmin. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia [On-line information]. Available online at Accessed November 2010.

(© 1995-2010). Unit Code 8364: Ceruloplasmin, Serum. Mayo Clinic, Mayo Medical Laboratories [On-line information]. Available online at through Accessed November 2010.

McMillin, G. and Roberts, W. (Updated 2010 May). Wilson Disease. ARUP Consult [On-line information]. Available online at through 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 through Accessed November 2010.

Johnson, L. (Revised 2008 August). Copper. Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals [On-line information]. Available online at disease&alt=sh#sec01-ch005-ch005c-534 through 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.

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 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 through 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 through Accessed on 7/27/07.

Van Voorhees, B. (2007 January 22). Ceruloplasmin. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia [On-line information]. Available online at Accessed on 7/27/07.

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

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