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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-24 (EDT)

See Also Lab Tests

Ceruloplasmin is an acute-phase reactant protein that can indicate an acute illness. This test is primarily used in the diagnosis of preclinical states of Wilson disease. Teenagers and young adults with hepatitis, cirrhosis, or recurrent neuromuscular incoordination, signs which are compatible with Wilson disease, should also be tested for this protein. [1], [2]


  • Ceruloplasmin, or Cp in an alpha2-globulin that binds copper for transport within the bloodstream after it is absorbed from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
  • Levels of Cp are decreased mostly in an inherited disorder known as Wilson disease.
  • The low levels of Cp result in high levels of unbound copper, which becomes toxic to tissues. The copper is then deposited in the eye, brain, liver, and kidney.

Patient Preparation

  • No fasting required.
  • Factors which can cause increased levels
  • Pregnancy
  • Drugs: estrogen, birth control pills, tamoxifen, methadone, and phenytoin
  • Factors which can cause decreased levels
  • None noted

Clinical Implications

High levels indicate:

  • Pregnancy
  • Thyrotoxicosis
  • Cancer
  • Acute inflammatory reaction (e.g. infection, rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Biliary cirrhosis
  • Copper intoxication

Low levels indicate:

  • Wilson disease
  • Normal infants (6 months)
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Sprue
  • Kwashiokor
  • Starvation
  • Menkes (kinky hair) syndrome

Associated Tests


  1. Pagana Kathleen D, Pagana Timothy J (2006) Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, Mosby.
  2. Weatherby Dicken, Ferguson Scott (2002) Blood Chemistry and CBC Analysis: Clinical Laboratory Testing from a Functional Perspective, Bear Mountain.