Measurement of the ferritin concentration in serum determines the total amount of iron present in the body. Viruses have no metabolism of their own and require iron-dependent enzyme activities of the host cell and the supply of metabolic products for their replication. Studies have shown that in COVID-19 patients with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, thrombosis or cancer, ferritin concentrations are greatly increased. COVID-19 patients with severely elevated ferritin levels, have a more severe disease course and higher mortality rate.
In ITS-COVID-19 patients, ferritin concentrations are above 1,000 ng/mL. The level of ferritin correlates with the severity of the clinical progression. When a ferritin concentration > 300 ng/mL is detected, the OR (odds rate) for COVID-19-related death is increased approximately 9-fold compared with a ferritin level < 300 ng/mL. To assess hyperinflammation and the likely severity of disease progression in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, early ferritin level determination is strongly recommended, including by the RKI. The organization “Mediziner4Mediziner” recommends laboratory ferritin level measurement every 48 hours in hypoxemic, non-intubated patients. Invasively ventilated patients even daily.
The measurement range of the BIOMED Ferritin Reagent is 5 to 2,000 ng/mL. Samples can be taken from serum and plasma. Reagent, calibrator and quality control are available as ferritin complete set (related to the 3rd WHO reference material NIBSC WHO 94/ 572).
The determination of the ferritin value is a so-called IGeL (Individual Health Service). The costs are not covered by the statutory health insurance, but the patient bears them himself. An early determination in connection with a COVID-19 disease could provide information about the severity of the course and the required medical care.