Abbrev Code:EPO   
Order Code:LAB873Order Name:Erythropoietin
Methodology:Chemiluminescent immunoassay
CPT Codes: 82668 x1
Turnaround Time:Specimens are sent to reference laboratory Mon-Sat; results are reported within 1-3 days.

Collection Instructions

Optimal Volume:2 mL
Minimum\Peds Volume:1.2 mL
Container:Red or gold (gel)
Alternate Containers: Green (lithium heparin, gel), Red (no gel)
Causes for Rejection:Hemolyzed, EDTA plasma

Processing and Shipping

Specimen Processing:Separate serum or plasma from cells ASAP. Centrifuge and aliquot 1 mL, 0.5 mL minimum. Store in refrigerator.
Shipping Instructions:Ship at refrigerated temperature.
Stability:Stability: After separation of cells: 8 hours at room temperature; 1 week refrigerated; 2 months frozen.
Test Performed at or Referral Lab Lab Sendouts  (ARUP)
Referral Lab number:50227


Reference Range:

Normal serum concentrations of erythropoietin for 95% of individuals with normal hematocrits range from 4-27 mU/mL.


Use:Renal production of EPO is regulated by changes in oxygen availability. Under conditions of hypoxia, the level of EPO in the circulation increases, leading to increased production of RBCs. The overproduction of EPO may be an adaptive response associated with conditions that produce tissue hypoxia, such as living at high altitude, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cyanotic heart disease, sleep apnea, high-affinity hemoglobinopathy, smoking or localized renal hypoxia. In other instances, excessive EPO levels are the result of production by neoplastic cells. As the hematocrit is lowered by iron deficiency, aplastic or hemolytic anemia, the concentration of erythropoietin increases. In the absence of anemia, elevated concentrations are seen in renal tumors, as a manifestation of renal transplant rejection, and in secondary polycythemia. Low values may be observed in hemochromatosis.   Decreased erythropoietin concentrations with an elevated hematocrit are observed in patients with polycythemia rubra vera, and with a decreased hematocrit in patients with HIV infection who are receiving AZT.

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