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Haptoglobin blood test

The haptoglobin blood test measures the level of haptoglobin in your blood.

Haptoglobin is a protein produced by the liver. It attaches to a certain type of hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin is a blood cell protein that carries oxygen.

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How the Test is Performed

A blood sample is needed.

How to Prepare for the Test

Certain medicines may affect the results of this test. Your health care provider will tell you if you need to stop taking any medicines. DO NOT stop any medicine before talking to your provider.

Drugs that can raise haptoglobin levels include:

Drugs that can lower haptoglobin levels include:

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. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away.

Why the Test is Performed

This test is done to see how fast your red blood cells are destroyed. It may be done if your provider suspects you have a type of anemia that your immune system is causing.

Normal Results

The normal range is 41 to 165 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or 410 to 1,650 milligrams per liter (mg/L).

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

When red blood cells are actively being destroyed, haptoglobin disappears faster than it is created. As a result, the levels of haptoglobin in the blood drop.

Lower than normal levels may be due to:

Higher-than-normal levels may be due to:

Risks

There is little risk involved with having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood from some people may be more difficult than from others.

Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:

Related Information

Hemoglobin
Amino acids
Gout
Bile duct obstruction
Peptic ulcer
Ulcerative colitis
Liver disease
Hemolytic disease of the newborn
Hemolytic anemia
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency
Immune hemolytic anemia
Primary biliary cirrhosis
Hemolytic transfusion reaction

References

Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Haptoglobin (Hp) - serum. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:604-605.

Michel M. Autoimmune and intravascular hemolytic anemias In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 160.

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Review Date: 1/19/2018  

Reviewed By: Richard LoCicero, MD, private practice specializing in hematology and medical oncology, Longsteet Cancer Center, Gainesville, GA. 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.

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