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Also Known as : Serum IronSerum Fe, Iron

Test Panel : Serum iron, Ferritin, TIBC, CBC, HCT, transferrin

Iron Test

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Why Get Tested :

  • This test is done to evaluate the concentration of iron in the body.
  • This test will give information about the deficiency or overdose of iron.
  • This is advised in the workup of anemia.

When to get Tests :

When you have low hemoglobin and hematocrit on a complete blood count (CBC)
when your healthcare practitioner suspects that you may have too little iron (deficiency) in your body
when your healthcare practitioner suspects that you may have too much iron (overload) in your body


  1. Avoid hemolysis because iron of the RBCs may increase the iron level.
  2. Please get the history of blood transfusion in the recent period of time.
  3. The hemolytic disease may give false high value.
  4. The Recent history of iron-containing food or medication will affect the result.
  5. Get the history of drugs which may decrease the value like chloramphenicol, methicillin, colchicine, ACTH, testosterone, and deferoxamine.
  6. Get the history of drugs which may increase the level of iron like Estrogen, dextran, ethanol, iron preparation, methyldopa and oral contraceptives.


  1. The test is done on the serum of the patient.
  2. Collect the blood sample in the morning.
  3. Avoid food at least for 12 hours before giving the blood.

Abnormal level of iron causes:

  1. Iron deficiency anemia.
  2. Overdose causes hemochromatosis.
  3. Iron overload is seen in:
    1. Hemosiderosis.
    2. Hemochromatosis, which is seen as an injury to the organs and there are degeneration and fibrosis.
    3. Sideroblastic anemia is due to iron overload and no exact mechanism is known.

Normal Value :

  • Male = 80 to 180 µg/dL.
  • Female = 60 to 160 µg/dL.
  • Newborn = 100 to 250 µg/dL.
  • Child = 50 to 120 µg/dL.

Increased Serum Iron level is seen in:

  1. Hemolytic anemias.
  2. Hemochromatosis or hemosiderosis.
  3. Multiple transfusions.
  4. An overdose of iron therapy.
  5. Nephritis.
  6. Liver damage and acute hepatitis.
  7. Vit.B6 deficiency.
  8. Lead poisoning.
  9. Acute leukemias.
  10. Iron overload syndrome.

Decreased serum Iron level is seen in:

  1. Iron deficiency anemia.
  2. Inadequate absorption of iron.
  3. Chronic blood loss.
  4. Paroxysmal nocturnal hematuria.
  5. Pregnancy mostly in the third trimester.
    1. There is a 30% decrease in the iron after every menstrual cycle.
  6. Chronic diseases e.g. chronic infections, autoimmune diseases like SLE and rheumatoid arthritis.
  7. Remission of pernicious anemia.
  8. Inadequate absorption from the intestine like malabsorption.
  9. Short bowel syndrome.
  10. Malignancies.
  11. Chronic hematuria.

Possible References Used

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