The serum ferritin concentration has been determined by an immunoradiometric assay in 90 subjects with a variety of pulmonary diseases. No association between ferritin concentrations and finger clubbing has been found in any of the diseases studied. Ferritin levels were significantly raised in the subjects with bronchial carcinoma, but were not useful in monitoring recurrence of the tumour. Pulmonary artery and pulmonary vein ferritin concentrations were similar to systemic venous concentrations. It is therefore unlikely that the tumour releases ferritin into the pulmonary circulation. Ferritin levels were raised in patients with acute pneumonias but did not correlate with the total white cell count or erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Serum ferritin concentrations were also increased in a variety of chronic lung diseases but were normal in subjects with asbestosis.
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