Serum iron

Jump to navigation Jump to search

WikiDoc Resources for Serum iron


Most recent articles on Serum iron

Most cited articles on Serum iron

Review articles on Serum iron

Articles on Serum iron in N Eng J Med, Lancet, BMJ


Powerpoint slides on Serum iron

Images of Serum iron

Photos of Serum iron

Podcasts & MP3s on Serum iron

Videos on Serum iron

Evidence Based Medicine

Cochrane Collaboration on Serum iron

Bandolier on Serum iron

TRIP on Serum iron

Clinical Trials

Ongoing Trials on Serum iron at Clinical

Trial results on Serum iron

Clinical Trials on Serum iron at Google

Guidelines / Policies / Govt

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse on Serum iron

NICE Guidance on Serum iron


FDA on Serum iron

CDC on Serum iron


Books on Serum iron


Serum iron in the news

Be alerted to news on Serum iron

News trends on Serum iron


Blogs on Serum iron


Definitions of Serum iron

Patient Resources / Community

Patient resources on Serum iron

Discussion groups on Serum iron

Patient Handouts on Serum iron

Directions to Hospitals Treating Serum iron

Risk calculators and risk factors for Serum iron

Healthcare Provider Resources

Symptoms of Serum iron

Causes & Risk Factors for Serum iron

Diagnostic studies for Serum iron

Treatment of Serum iron

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

CME Programs on Serum iron


Serum iron en Espanol

Serum iron en Francais


Serum iron in the Marketplace

Patents on Serum iron

Experimental / Informatics

List of terms related to Serum iron

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

The medical laboratory test for serum iron measures the amount of circulating iron that is bound to transferrin.

Clinicians order this laboratory test when they are concerned about iron deficiency, which can cause anemia and other problems.

65% of the iron in the body is bound up in hemoglobin molecules in red blood cells. About 4% is bound up in myoglobin molecules. Around 30% of the iron in the body is stored as ferritin or hemosiderin in the spleen, the bone marrow and the liver. Small amounts of iron can be found in other molecules in cells throughout the body. None of this iron is directly accessible by testing the serum.

However, some iron is circulating in the serum. Transferrin is a molecule produced by the liver that binds one or two iron(III) ions; transferrin is essential if stored iron is to be moved and used.

Most of the time, about 30% of the available sites on the transferrin molecule are filled. The test for serum iron uses blood drawn from veins to measure the iron molecules that are bound to transferrin, and circulating in the blood.

The extent to which sites on transferrin molecules are filled by iron ions can be another helpful clinical indicator, known as percent transferrin saturation. Another lab test saturates the sample to measure the total amount of transferrin; this test is called total iron-binding capacity (TIBC). These three tests are generally done at the same time, and taken together are an important part of the diagnostic process for anemia, iron deficiency, iron deficiency anemia and Haemochromatosis.

Normal values

  • Serum Iron (SI):
    • Men: 65 to 176 µg/dL
    • Women: 50 to 170 µg/dL
    • Newborns: 100 to 250 µg/dL
    • Children: 50 to 120 µg/dL
  • TIBC: 240-450 µg/dL
  • Transferrin saturation: 20-50%

µg/dL = micrograms per deciliter.

Laboratories often use different units and "normal" may vary by population and the lab techniques used; look at the individual laboratory reference values to interpret a specific test (for instance, your own).


  • Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia: Serum Iron.
  • Schrier SL. Regulation of iron balance. Up-to-Date. Accessed December 5, 2005. (Requires subscription.)
  • University of Illinois Medical Center: Serum Iron. Accessed July 6, 2006.


Template:WikiDoc Sources