Erythropoietin (EPO)

Serum EPO measured by chemiluminescent assay on the Siemens Immulite XPi
Clinical details: 
The measurement of serum erythropoietin (EPO) is a useful diagnostic tool in the differential diagnosis of anaemia. Most anaemic patients have appropriately elevated serum EPO that is dependent on the degree and type of anaemia. Aplastic anaemia, haemolytic anaemia and anaemia due to iron deficiency results in increased levels of serum EPO. Serum EPO in patients with anaemia associated with chronic renal failure is usually inappropriate due to reduced EPO production by the kidney.

An important application is the differentiation between primary and secondary polycythaemia. Patients with polycythaemia rubra vera (primary polycythaemia) typically present with normal or subnormal serum EPO whereas those with secondary polycythaemia brought on by chronic hypoxaemia, as in cyanotic congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, present with elevated levels.
The acquired JAK2 mutation V617F is associated with polycythaemia and related myeloproliferative disorders.

Treatment with recombinant EPO has been shown to be useful in disease states such as anaemia of chronic renal failure, and of inflammatory bowel disease, multiple myeloma and AIDS. Monitoring serum EPO levels reduces toxicity and ensures adequate therapeutic concentrations are achieved.

The assay is a solid phase chemiluminescence immunometric assay for use on the Siemens Immulite XPi analyser. The assay is performed twice weekly and interpretation of the results is given where adequate clinical information is provided.

We participate in an EQA scheme for EPO run by UKNEQAS for Haematinics
Reference range: 

5 to 25 U/L

Sample type and Volume required: 
5 mL blood Clotted (yellow SST tube) Serum
Turnaround time: 
Within 7 days.
Storage and transport: 
Serum may be stored refrigerated at 4°C for up to 7 days, for longer storage it is recommended that samples should be kept at -20°C, repeat freeze thawing should be avoided. External samples can be transported unfrozen by 1st class post or courier to the laboratory. A minimum volume of 500µl of serum is required for analysis.
Price available on application - please contact Discounts could be available for significant workloads
Reference Biochemistry Department at King's College Hospital
020 3299 4107
King's College Hospital
Denmark Hill
London SE5 9RS
Immunochemistry Laboratory at King's College Hospital
020 3299 4130
King's College Hospital
Denmark Hill
London SE5 9RS
For clinical advice or interpretation of results, please contact the laboratory in the first instance.

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Last updated: 03/10/2022