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Formal name: Ceruloplasmin, serum
Related tests: Copper

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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.