Preferred Sample Type


Suitable Specimen Types

  • Serum
2 mL blood. Absolute minimum volume 0.6 mL.

Sample Processing in Laboratory


Sample Preparation

Separate serum/plasma and store at - 20oC for transport to GHH.

Turnaround Time

7 days

Sample Stability

Separate serum and store at - 20oC for transport to GHH.


General Information

Caeruloplasmin is an acute phase protein and transport protein. It belongs to the alpha-2 globulin electrophoretic fraction and contains 8 copper atoms per molecule. Incorporation of copper occurs during the synthesis of caeruloplasmim in hepatocytes. After secretion from the liver, caeruloplasmin migates to copper-requiring tissues where the copper is liberated during the catabolism of the caeruloplasmin molecule. In addition to transporting copper, caeruloplasmin has a catalytic function in the oxidation of iron, polyamines, catecholamines and polyphenols. Decreased concentrations occur in Wilson disease, an autosomal recessive hepatolenticular degeneration.

There are 2 defects of copper metabolism in Wilson disease:

  1. Impaired biliary excretion leading to copper deposition in the liver.
  2. Deficiency of caeruloplasmin leading to low plasma copper, deposition of copper in tissues and some excreted in urine.

Excessive deposition of copper in the basal ganglia of the brain and in the liver, renal tubules and eyes leads to neurological symptoms, liver damage leading to cirrhosis, renal tubular damage and Kayser-Fleischer rings at the edges of the cornea.
In Wilson disease the concentrations of caeruloplasmin and copper can be low with high urinary copper. Low caeruloplasmin is also found in active liver disease, protein loss syndromes, women on the OCP and during the last trimester of pregnancy. Wilson disease is a recessively inherited disease but heterozygotes may have low caeroluplasmin.

The rare Menkes' syndrome is a genetic copper absorption disorder with concomitant lowering of the caeruloplasmin concentration.

Increases in caeruloplasmin occur during acute and chronic inflammatory processes, as it is an acute-phase protein.

Patient Preparation



This test is performed at Good Hope Hospital.

An immunoturbidimetric assay. No significant interference from icterus, haemolysis or lipaemia. Rheumatoid factorsThere is no high dose hook effect up to caeruloplasmin concentrations of 5.00g/L

Samples are stable for 3 days at 2-8 oC or 4 weeks at -15 to -25 oC.

PLEASE NOTE: EDTA plasma samples are no longer accepted for caeruloplasmin analysis

Reference Range


Source : Abbott Diagnostics


  • EQA Status:


Copyright heftpathology 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

HTA licence number is 12366

Protection of Personal Information – Laboratory Medicine comply with the Trust Data Protection Policy and have procedures in place to allow the Directorate and it’s employees to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and associated best practice and guidance.

The Trust Laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital were awarded UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation to the internationally recognised ISO 15189 standard in May 2015. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the test database
Tests not appearing on this scope are either under consideration or in the process of accreditation and so currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235