The plasma ferritin concentration declines very early when someone is developing an iron deficiency. On the other hand, a large number of chronic diseases display an increase in serum Ferritin concentration. Examples are: chronic infections, chronic inflammatory disorders and numerous types of malignancies, especially lymphomas, leukaemias, breast cancer and neuroblastoma.
Increase in plasma ferritin concentration also occurs in viral hepatitis or a following toxic liver injury because of release of ferritin from damaged liver cells. Plasma ferritin concentration is additionally increased with increases of iron stores, as seen in patients with hemosiderosis or hemochromatosis.
Furthermore, ferritin is of use as an iron metabolism parameter and has also gained importance as a tumour marker for therapeutic drug monitoring and follow-up routines.