Test Background Haptoglobins bind free haemoglobin in plasma to form a complex which is rapidly eliminated from the bloodstream. Levels are decreased in cases of haemolysis, hepatocellular disease and congenital ahaptoglobinaemia. Haptoglobin is an acute phase protein, increased levels may be found in cases of infection, malignancy, tissue damage, Hodgkin's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, biliary obstruction and with steroid therapy. A normal haptoglobin level does not exclude the possibility of increased haemolysis.
Clinical Indications Reduced haptoglobins can be a feature of haemolysis, particularly intravascular.