What Is a Ceruloplasmin
Ceruloplasmin, a glycoprotein produced in the liver, carries or
transports more than 95 percent of the copper in blood plasma.
Copper plays an important role in the body by aiding crucial
bodily processes. These include producing energy, forming connective tissue,
and helping your central nervous system function.
A ceruloplasmin test can determine the levels of ceruloplasmin
in your body. It’s most often used in the diagnosis of Wilson’s disease, a
Why Is the Test Ordered?
Your doctor may order a ceruloplasmin test if you have the symptoms
of Wilson’s disease. Wilson’s disease is a rare genetic disorder that causes
too much copper to collect in the liver, brain, and other body tissues and
Wilson’s disease is also known as hepatolenticular degeneration.
It can cause the following symptoms:
- yellowing of the skin or eyes, which is called
- a skin rash
- joint pain
- bruising easily
- a loss of appetite
- changes in behavior
- difficulty controlling movement or walking
Your doctor will usually order the ceruloplasmin test along with
other blood and urine copper tests to confirm your diagnosis. If you’ve already
been diagnosed with Wilson’s disease, your doctor may order the ceruloplasmin
test to determine if the treatment is working.
How Is the Test Administered?
For the ceruloplasmin test, you’ll be required to provide a
The blood sample is extracted through the arm by a needle. The
blood will be collected in a tube and sent to a lab for analysis.
Once the lab reports the results, your doctor will be able to
provide you with more information about the results and what they mean.
What Are the Risks of the
If you have a ceruloplasmin test, you may experience some
discomfort when the blood sample is drawn. Needle sticks may result in mild
pain during the test. Following the test, you may experience pain or throbbing
at the puncture site.
In general, the risks of a ceruloplasmin test are minimal. These
risks are common to most routine blood tests. Potential risks include:
- difficulty obtaining a sample, resulting in
multiple needle sticks
- excessive bleeding at the puncture site
- fainting as a result of blood loss
- the accumulation of blood under the skin, known
as a hematoma
- the development of an infection where the skin
is broken by the needle
for the Test
There’s usually no special preparation required for the
ceruloplasmin test. Ask your doctor if there’s anything you need to do before
Understanding the Results
The results of your ceruloplasmin test will vary based on the
laboratory that completes the analysis of your blood. Talk to your doctor about
your results and what they mean.
The normal range for ceruloplasmin in the blood is between 20
and 50 milligrams per deciliter. If your ceruloplasmin levels are lower than
normal, it may indicate the presence of Wilson’s disease.
Other health problems may also cause your ceruloplasmin levels
to be low. These include:
- liver disease
- liver failure
- intestinal malabsorption, which means difficulty
absorbing nutrients and other substances from the intestines, especially
- Menkes syndrome, which is a hereditary metabolic
disorder that affects copper levels in the body
- nephrotic syndrome, which is a variety of
symptoms that include protein in the urine, low protein in the blood, high
cholesterol levels, and high triglyceride levels
If your ceruloplasmin results are higher than normal, it may
- you have a serious infection
- you have lymphoma
- you have rheumatoid arthritis
- you’re pregnant
It’s important to note that the ceruloplasmin test isn’t
typically used to diagnose these. It’s mostly used if someone has the symptoms
of Wilson’s disease. If the test reveals any other abnormalities, your doctor
will help interpret your results. Either way, they may want to do some