What is Erythropoietin?
Erythropoietin (EPO) is a hormone crucial in the formation of red blood cells. The hormone talks to bone marrow stem cells telling them to produce red blood cells. Kidney cells produce EPO and if oxygen levels in the blood fall lower than normal, the cells will produce more EPO.
Patients suspected of having too many or too few red blood cells may be schedule for an EPO test, in conjunction with other blood tests. While high EPO values can be dangerous, low values are more commonly observed. Patients with anemia associated with chronic disease and/or kidney failure may have low blood EPO levels.
Normal Value Range
- Negative Pregnancy Adult: 4 to 27 U/L
- Pregnancy Trimester One: 12 to 25 U/L
- Pregnancy Trimester Two: 8 to 37 U/L
- Pregnancy Trimester Three: 14 to 222 U/L