Free erythrocyte protoporphyrin (FEP) I. Normal values for adults and evaluation of the hematofluorometer.Am J Clin Pathol. 1983 Jun; 79(6):655-60.AJ
Since the early 1970s, measurement of free erythrocyte protoporphyrin (FEP) (by microextraction or by hematofluorometer) has been widely used to screen for lead poisoning and to evaluate microcytic red blood cell (RBC) disorders in children. However, published information on normal values for FEP, performance of the hematofluorometer, and usefulness of FEP in classifying microcytic RBC disorders in adults is scant. In an adult population with normal hematocrit and MCV and normal values for serum ferritin, blood lead level, and serum bilirubin, we obtained normal hematofluorometer FEP levels of less than 30 micrograms/dL for men, and less than 40 micrograms/dL levels for women. We have evaluated a hematofluorometer against a standard microextraction procedure and feel that the hematofluorometer is superior for clinical laboratories if elevated FEPs are confirmed by retesting with washed RBC. In the second part of this paper we demonstrate the usefulness of the FEP in classifying microcytic RBC disorders in adults.