What is erythropoietin

Erythropoietin

Why is the erythropoietin level measured?

Erythropoietin (Epo) is a natural hormone that promotes the formation and maturation of red blood cells (erythrocytes). Since it increases the blood's transport capacity for oxygen in this way, it has fallen into disrepute as a popular doping agent for athletes to improve performance.

90% of erythropoietin is produced in the kidneys, but the liver, brain, uterus, testes and spleen also produce Epo. People with chronic kidney failure (renal insufficiency) therefore often suffer from a deficiency in erythropoietin and then have to ingest the hormone artificially.

 

What erythropoietin levels should men have?

Lower limit: 10 units per liter (units per liter, U / l)
Upper limit: 25 units per liter (units per liter, U / l)

 

What erythropoietin levels should women have?

Lower limit: 10 units per liter (units per liter, U / l)
Upper limit: 25 units per liter (units per liter, U / l)

 

What do low values ​​mean?

Epo values ​​that are too low can indicate excessive cell proliferation in the blood (polycythemia vera) or kidney weakness.

 

What do high values ​​mean?

Excessive Epo values ​​can be caused by anemia, heart or lung weakness, kidney diseases (kidney cysts, urinary stasis kidney) or kidney cancer. In addition, increased values ​​can of course also be traced back to the ingestion of artificial erythropoietin and indicate doping.