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Erythropoietin, Serum


Test Description

The Erythropoietin, Serum test measures the amount of erythropoietin (EPO) hormone in the blood. EPO is produced by cells in the kidney and stimulates the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. The test is done with a blood sample[1][3][4][5].

Indications of the Test

The Erythropoietin, Serum test is used to diagnose anemia and polycythemia. It is also used to determine if the kidneys are producing a normal amount of EPO. High levels of EPO can indicate a kidney tumor, while low levels can indicate kidney disease. The test can also help distinguish between primary and secondary polycythemia[1][2][3][4][5].

Patient Preparation/Instructions

No special preparation is necessary for the Erythropoietin, Serum test[1][3].

Typical Reference Values

A normal EPO level means that the body can make healthy red blood cells. EPO levels usually rise when the body isn’t getting enough oxygen. In severe cases of anemia, EPO levels in the blood may be a thousand times higher than normal. Unusually low levels may be because of polycythemia vera[3][4].

Turnaround Time

The turnaround time for the Erythropoietin, Serum test varies depending on the laboratory performing the test. Typically, results are available within a few days[5].

Order This Test

To order the Erythropoietin, Serum test, click the “Order Test” button and add it to the cart. This test is available from our main partner, Pathosure laboratory at Hurlingham Court, Nairobi.


[1] Erythropoietin test: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003683.htm

[2] EPO – Overview: Erythropoietin, Serum https://www.mayocliniclabs.com/test-catalog/overview/80173

[3] Erythropoietin (Blood) – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contentid=erythropoietin_blood&contenttypeid=167

[4] Erythropoietin: Production, Purpose, Test & Levels https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14573-erythropoietin

[5] Erythropoietin (EPO) https://www.labcorp.com/tests/140277/erythropoietin-epo

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