Ceruloplasmin testing is used primarily, along with blood and/or urine copper tests, to help diagnose Wilson disease, a rare inherited disorder associated with excess storage of copper in the liver, brain, and other organs, and with decreased levels of ceruloplasmin.
Copper is an essential mineral that performs vital roles in the body. About 95% of the copper in the blood is bound to ceruloplasmin. Only a small amount of copper is normally present in the blood in a free (unbound) state. For more information, read the "What is being tested?" section.
Rarely, a ceruloplasmin test may be ordered with a copper test to help diagnose abnormalities in copper metabolism, copper deficiencies, or the rare inherited disorder Menkes kinky hair syndrome.
Rarely, ceruloplasmin may also be ordered along with copper tests when a health practitioner suspects that someone has a copper deficiency. Ceruloplasmin may be ordered periodically to monitor those with excess or deficient copper and periodically to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.
Ceruloplasmin may be increased in a variety of circumstances where the test is not used as a clinical tool. However, these conditions can affect interpretation of the test and the ability to recognize Wilson disease or copper deficiency. These may include the following:
Ceruloplasmin is an acute phase reactant. It is frequently elevated when someone has inflammation, severe infection, tissue damage, and may be increased with some cancers.
It may be increased during pregnancy and with the use of estrogen, oral contraceptives, and medications such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, and valproic acid.
This article was last reviewed on March 10, 2015. | This article was last modified on March 10, 2015.
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