Introduction: Iron is an important factor of the energy balance and correlates with serum ferritin. For competitive athletes, ferritin measurements are regularly performed at certified medical laboratories. However, as a laboratory change happened, we questioned the validity of ferritin levels, since unusually high values were measured. The aim of this study is to compare the ferritin values of blood samples in six different laboratories and to evaluate the diagnosis of iron deficiency. Methods: Blood samples from 63 patients with suspected iron deficiency were sent to six laboratories for ferritin measurements.
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Background: Iron deficiency (ID), worldwide a common affection is associated with reduced performance, fatigue and increased risk for infections. Athletes are a risk-population due to a higher prevalence of restrictive diets or exercise-induced inflammation. Particularly in athletes, the diagnosis of ID based on unspecific symptomes or routine laboratory diagnostics with ferritin is not always reliable. The goal of this study was therefore to discover if a new diagnostic approach adding zinc protoporphyrin (ZnPP) or soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) in the routine assessment of ID in athletes is helpful or even necessary.
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