Low isolated ferritin levels without anemia: is gastrointestinal tract endoscopy sufficient to explain the cause?

Bahadır A., Sag E., Çakır M., Erduran E.

IRISH JOURNAL OF MEDICAL SCIENCE, vol.191, pp.739-744, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 191
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11845-021-02589-0
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.739-744
  • Keywords: Anemia, Children, Gastrointestinal endoscopic findings, Low ferritin
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Aim The present study assesses the diagnostic significance of low ferritin levels in gastrointestinal diseases by evaluating the endoscopic findings of patients with low ferritin levels without anemia. Method The study included patients aged 0-18 years who underwent an upper and lower gastrointestinal system endoscopy in the Pediatric Gastroenterology Department of our hospital. The patients were divided into three groups based on hemoglobin, and ferritin levels at the time of initial presentation and endoscopic and histopathological findings were recorded retrospectively. Results In the present study, 2391 pediatric patients were reviewed, among which 29% (n = 699) had anemia, 23% (n = 549) had low ferritin levels without anemia, and 48% (n = 1143) did not have anemia. The most common symptoms were abdominal pain, dyspepsia, and growth retardation. When the endoscopy findings were compared with those of patients with non-anemic group, Helicobacter pylori gastritis (24%/17.6%) and celiac disease (6%/2.2%) were more common in low ferritin levels without anemia, which indicated a statistically significant difference (p = 0.000/p = 0.04). Conclusions Helicobacter pylori gastritis and celiac disease were more commonly observed in association with low ferritin levels. Low ferritin levels without anemia can be an early and silent sign of celiac disease.