The erythropoietin test measures the amount of a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO) in blood. The hormone tells stem cells in the bone marrow to make more red blood cells. EPO is made by cells in the kidney. These cells release more EPO when blood oxygen level is low.
Erythropoietin, commonly referred to as EPO, is a glycoprotein hormone produced by the kidneys. Its production increases when you don’t have enough red blood cells in your body. The most common use of EPO testing is to diagnose anemia, but many doctors also order this test when evaluating polycythemia.
Secondary polycythemia is a condition in which you have an elevated level of erythropoietin (EPO) in your blood. This condition causes the abnormal production of more red blood cells than normal, which leads to high blood pressure. Patients with chronic kidney failure are treated with EPO more commonly because they are at risk of anemia.
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