Iron Level and Total Iron-Binding Capacity

This is a blood test that looks for abnormal levels of iron which can be the result of many causes, such as:

  • Iron deficiency anemia

  • Pregnancy

  • Loss of blood with iron loss through the blood

  • Inadequate absorption where iron is not being absorbed by the bowel, or where there is simply not enough intake of iron.

  • If there is too much iron in the blood and body, this can lead to a condition called hemochromatosis (excess iron has accumulated in the brain, liver, and heart and causes problems with the organ function).

PREPARATION FOR TEST

Fasting is required for 12 hours prior to the blood test with only water permitted.

NORMAL FINDINGS

Iron:

  • Male: 80-180 mcg/dL or 14-32 micromole/L (SI units)

  • Female: 60-160 mcg/dL or 11-29 micromole/L (SI units)

  • Newborn: 100-250 mcg/dL

  • Child: 50-120mcg/dl

TIBC:

  • 250-460 mcg/dL or 45-82 micromole/L (SI units)

Transferrin:

  • Adult male: 215-365 mg or 2.15-3.65 g/L (SI units)

  • Adult female: 250-380 mg/dL or 2.50-3.80 g/L (SI units)

  • Newborn: 130-275 mg/dL

  • Child: 203-360 mg/dL

Transferrin saturation:

  • Male: 20% to 50%

  • Female: 15% to 50%

Ranges for normal findings may vary among different laboratories and hospitals. You should always check with your doctor after having lab work or other tests done to discuss the meaning of your test results and whether your values are considered within normal limits.

MEANING OF TEST

Your caregiver will go over the test results with you and discuss the importance and meaning of your results, as well as treatment options and the need for additional tests if necessary.

OBTAINING THE TEST RESULTS

It is your responsibility to obtain your test results. Ask the lab or department performing the test when and how you will get your results.