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Laboratory Medicine

Test Directory / Transferrin


Brown clotted serum, gel barrier or lithium heparin

Common AbbreviationsTRA
ProfileIron Studies/ Transferrin saturation
Tube typeBrown clotted serum, gel barrier or lithium heparin
Clinical IndicationMeasurement of plasma transferrin levels is useful in the differential diagnosis of anaemia and will rise with iron deficiency anaemia. In congenital atransferrinaemia, a very low level of transferrin is accompanied by iron overload and a severe hypochromic anaemia resistant to iron therapy. High levels of transferrin occur in pregnancy and during oestrogen administration. It is decreased in conditions that are associated with increased protein loss such as nephritic syndrome, protein-deficiency states and in chronic liver disease. Transferrin is a negative acute phase reactant and will decrease during any inflammatory state or malignancy. Transferrin is used in conjunction with iron to calculate transferring saturation.
Specimen TypeBlood
Sample typeSerum or plasma
Minimum Volume0.5mL If requesting more than 10 tests please send an additional brown clotted serum sample.
Special PrecautionsFasting sample preferred if iron overload is suspected.
Stability8 days at 2-25°C
Turnaround TimeInpatient: 4 hours Outpatient/ GP: 24 hours
LaboratoryYork and Scarborough
Reference Interval2.0-3.6 g/L (Quoted by the manufacturer)
LimitationsSamples with extremely abnormal optical characteristics, especially turbidity, may produce atypical results.
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