BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuErythropoietin testSerum erythropoietin; EPOThe erythropoietin test measures the amount of a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO) in blood.The hormone tells stem cells in the bone marrow to make more red blood cells. EPO is made by cells in the kidney. These cells release more EPO when blood oxygen level is low. How the Test is Performed A blood sample is needed.Blood sampleVenipuncture is the collection of blood from a vein. It is most often done for laboratory testing.Read Article Now Book Mark Article How to Prepare for the Test No special preparation is necessary. How the Test will Feel When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing. Why the Test is Performed This test may be used to help determine the cause of anemia, polycythemia (high red blood cell count) or other bone marrow disorders.A change in red blood cells will affect the release of EPO. For example, people with anemia have too few red blood cells, so more EPO is produced. Normal Results The normal range is 2.6 to 18.5 milliunits per milliliter (mU/mL).The examples above are common measurements for results of these tests. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your health care provider about the meaning of your specific test result. What Abnormal Results Mean Increased EPO level may be due to secondary polycythemia. This is an overproduction of red blood cells that occurs in response to an event such as low blood oxygen level. The condition may occur at high altitudes or, rarely, because of a tumor that releases EPO.Lower-than-normal EPO level may be seen in chronic kidney failure, anemia of chronic disease, or polycythemia vera.Chronic kidney failureChronic kidney disease is the slow loss of kidney function over time. The main job of the kidneys is to remove wastes and excess water from the body...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Anemia of chronic diseaseAnemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues. There are man...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Polycythemia veraPolycythemia vera (PV) is a bone marrow disease that leads to an abnormal increase in the number of blood cells. The red blood cells are mostly affe...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Risks Risks associated with having blood drawn are slight, but may include:Excessive bleeding Fainting or feeling lightheaded Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin) Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken) Open ReferencesReferencesBain BJ. The peripheral blood smear. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 148.Kaushansky K. Hematopoiesis and hematopoietic growth factors. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 147.Kremyanskaya M, Najfeld V, Mascarenhas J, Hoffman R. The polycythemias. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, et al, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2018:chap 68.Murphy MF, Pasi JK, Roy N. Haematology. In: Feather A, Randall D, Waterhouse M, eds. Kumar and Clarke's Clinical Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 16.AllVideoImagesTog Tests for Erythropoietin test Erythropoietin testRelated Information Reticulocyte count(Medical Test)Protein in diet(Nutrition)Chronic kidney disease(Condition)Polycythemia vera(Condition) Review Date: 7/19/2021 Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.