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PTD - 226

Test Directory -  Erythropoietin


EPO, hematopoietin

Clinical Indications

Erythropoeitin(EPO) is a glycoprotein hormone that controls erythropoeisis (red cell production) through regulation of bone marrow precursors. It is produced by kidney endothelial cells and it's production is thought to be regulated through a feedback mechanism measuring blood oxygenation.

Abnormally high concentrations may also be induced by renal neoplasms, benign tumors, polycystic kidney disease, renal cysts, and hydronephrosis. EPO is used most commonly to treat anaemia in people with chronic kidney disease.

Request Form 

Combined Pathology Blood form (Yellow/Black or Blue for GP's)


Referral test: Analysed by Clinical Biochemistry, Southend Hospital if specific criteria met.

Specific Criteria

Requested by Consultant Haematologist or if agreed with Consultant Biochemist.

Patient Preparation

Erythropoietin has been reported to show diurnal variation so it is important to collect samples at a consistent time of day. Morning samples taken between 7:30am and 12 pm have been recommended.

Turnaround Time

One week




1 mL.


Yellow top (SST) tube.
Green top (Li-Heparin) samples are also suitable.

Causes for Rejection

Not meeting specific criteria for analysis.
EDTA samples must not be used.
Haemolysed and contaminated samples may cause erroneous results 

Reference Range

5 - 25 IU/L


Patients suffering from most anaemias will present with higher than normal concentrations of serum erythropoietin; whereas, those suffering from anaemia associated with chronic renal failure may have values within the normal range. Interpretative comments are added to reports.

Lab. Handling

Processing: Aliquot (MPA) and store at 4C in separating fridge (CB39).
EPO and send in the transport box to the referral laboratory or NOEPO and save in separating freezer (CB40) at -20C, saved frozen rack.

Version 1.1 / September 2014                                                                                                 Approved by: Consultant Biochemist