Ferritin, an iron storage protein, is critical to iron haemostasis. Alterations in ferritin level are seen commonly
in clinical practice, often reflecting perturbations in iron homeostasis or metabolism. Ferritin is an acute-phase
reactant that can become elevated in several conditions related to inflammation or infections. Hyperferritinaemia
is seen in patients who misuse alcohol and patients with fatty liver disease. Raised ferritin levels are also caused
by overexpression of tissue ferritin in a number of cancers. The most common iron overload condition is hereditary
haemochromatosis. Haemophagocytic syndrome is a heterogeneous group of disorders with a final common
pathway consisting of hyperferritinaemia, pancytopenia, splenomegaly and multiple organ failure.
Modern Medicine – January 2018