Ceruloplasmin is a copper-containing protein. This article discusses the test to measure the level of this protein in the clear liquid part of the blood (serum).
How the Test is Performed
A blood sample is needed. This may be taken from a vein. The procedure is called avenipuncture.
How to Prepare for the Test
No fasting or other preparation is usually needed.
How the Test Will Feel
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, you may feel moderate pain, or only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
Why the Test is Performed
Your health care provider may order this test if you have signs or symptoms of a copper metabolism or copper storage disorder.
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Lower-than-normal ceruloplasmin levels may be due to:
- Chronic liver disease
- Intestinal malabsorption
- Menkes' syndrome (Menkes' kinky hair syndrome) -- very rare
- Nephrotic syndrome
- Wilson's copper storage disease (rare)
Higher-than-normal ceruloplasmin levels may be due to:
Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Fainting or feeling light-headed
- Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
- Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
Bacon BR. Inherited and metabolic disorders of the liver. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 153.
Cox DW, Roberts EA. Wilson disease. In: Feldman M, FriedmanLS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 75.
Kaler SG. Wilson’s disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 218.
Review Date: 2/2/2013
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.