Caeruloplasmin testing is used to measure the amount of caeruloplasmin in the blood, primarily to help diagnose Wilson's disease a rare inherited disorder associated with excess storage of copper in the liver, brain and other organs, manifesting in decreased levels of caeruloplasmin. It is usually used along with one or more copper tests. Sometimes it can be used to help identify other conditions associated with copper deficiencies. Testing is also used to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.
Caeruloplasmin testing can be used with one or more copper tests to help diagnose Wilson’s disease and evaluate copper metabolism. For example when you have jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, behavioural changes, tremors or other symptoms that may be due to Wilson's disease. Copper deficiency is rare but caeruloplasmin testing is part of the investigations required to assess this.
A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm.
This test measures the amount of caeruloplasmin in the blood. Caeruloplasmin 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 diet. It is absorbed in the intestines and then transported to the liver where it is stored or used in the production of a variety of enzymes. The liver binds copper to apocaeruloplasmin to produce caeruloplasmin and then releases it into the bloodstream. About 95 per cent of the copper in the blood is bound to caeruloplasmin.
A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm.
No test preparation is needed.
Caeruloplasmin is primarily ordered along with blood and/or urine copper tests to help diagnose Wilson's disease, an inherited disorder associated with decreased levels of caeruloplasmin and excess storage of copper in the liver, brain, and other organs. Rarely, it may be ordered to help diagnose or differentiate between conditions associated with copper deficiencies.
It is ordered along with copper tests when someone has signs and symptoms that may be due to Wilson's disease such as:
Rarely, caeruloplasmin is ordered along with copper tests when a copper deficiency is suspected and when monitoring is required.
Low caeruloplasmin levels alone are not diagnostic of a specific condition and are usually evaluated along with copper levels.
Test results may include:
Caeruloplasmin may be increased in a variety of circumstances where the test is not used as a clinical tool. These may include:
Conditions: Wilson's disease
Better Health Channel: Wilson's disease
MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Ceruloplasmin
Wilson's Disease Association International
Last Review Date: April 14, 2016