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PTD - 252

Test Directory - Iron



Clinical Indications

The main use for this test is in the investigation of iron overload, when the transferrin saturation should also be assessed. Iron levels are also useful in management of suspected iron poisoning or overdose.
Measurement of
serum iron is of little relevance in the investigation of iron deficiency; levels fall during acute infection (e.g. a cold); in patients taking oral iron (or multivitamins) levels reflect recent intake and are not representative of the true physiological state.

Part of Profile

Transferrin saturation

Request Form

Combined Pathology Blood form (Yellow/Black)


On request, if specific criteria are met.

Specific Criteria

Request by Consultant Haematologist or investigation of iron overload, poisoning or overdose.

Patient Preparation

None required

Turnaround Time

Same day




1 ml


Yellow top (SST) tube or

Paediatric orange top (lithium-heparin)

Causes for Rejection

Unlabelled sample. Not meeting specific criteria

Reference Range

10 - 30 umol/L

Reference: Sherwood RA, Pippard MJ, Peters TJ. Iron homeostasis and the assessment of iron status. Ann Clin Biochem 1998; 35: 693-708

Lab. Handling

Processing: Test code PFE. Analysed from primary tube and stored at 4C in the cold room (CB23)
(NOFE & save at 4C in the cold room (CB23))

Version 1.0 / July 2014                                                                                                          Approved by: Consultant Biochemist