Laboratory Test Information Guide

Details for Protoporphyrin, Whole Blood

Test Name: Protoporphyrin, Whole Blood
Alternate Name(s): Free protoporphyrin
Erythrocyte protoporphyrin
Laboratory: Core
Specimen Type: Adult:
2 x 4 mL Lavender (EDTA) top Vacutainer tubes

2-10 years: 2 x 2 mL Lavender (EDTA) top Vacutainer tubes

Red, Gold, or Light Green (Li-heparin) top tubes are NOT acceptable.
Collection Information: Careset includes 1 Lavender top tube for CBC (hematocrit) and 1 Lavender top tube for protoporphyrin test. Blood for protoporphyrin test should be collected in a foil-covered tube to protect from light.

Minimum volume of whole blood required for protoporphyrin test is 2 mL for adult or pediatric samples.
Test Schedule: Referred out Monday-Thursday
Turnaround time from when specimen
is received in testing laboratory:
14 days
Reference Range: Free protoporphyrin: 0.4-1.0 Ámol/L Ercs

Reference interval is for adults only and is not available for individuals 17 years of age or younger.
Effective Date: 2021-07-05
Revised Date:  
Critical Value:  
Interpretive Comments: Measurement of free erythrocyte protoporphyrins (FEP) includes protoporphyrin IX and zinc protoporphyrin. Zinc protoporphyrin is elevated in iron deficiency and lead poisoning.

Protoporphyrin IX is elevated in erythrocytic protoporphyria. FEP >3 times the upper limit of normal is suggestive of erythrocytic protoporphyria.
Special Processing: Hematocrit must be sent to ICL with sample to allow calculation of result.

Keep specimen protected from light.
Method of Analysis: Fluorescence Spectrophotometry
Critical Information Required:  
Storage & Shipment: Store and ship tube for protoporphyrin test frozen and protected from light.
System Codes: 
Referred To: In-Common Laboratories

Questions? Comments? Contact Laura Gopaul