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Lab Manual for UCSF Clinical Laboratories

Lab Manual for SFGH

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Item Value
Available Stat? No
Test code FE
Performed by? Chemistry
Sendout? no
Price range $
In House Availability 7 days
Principle Ascorbic acid liberates iron from protein, and the ferrous ions are complexed with ferrozine. The absorbance of the complex is directly proportional to the concentration of iron in serum.
Interpretation 1. Increased: idiopathic hemochromatosis, porphyria, hemosiderosis following repeated blood transfusions, parenteral iron therapy, thalassemia, pyridoxine anemia, pernicious anemia, Hemolytic anemias and acute liver damage.

2. Moderately decreased: cancer, chronic renal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, pernicious anemia in remission.

3. Markedly decreased: iron deficiency anemia, infection due to impaired release from RE system.

4. Serum iron diurnal variation is inconsistent; generally higher levels occur in the morning. Levels may vary widely for an individual within the same day and from day to day. For evaluation of iron deficiency or chronic overload, see also Transferrin/% Saturation and Ferritin. If acute iron poisoning is suspected, measurement of serum iron at 4-6 hrs and 8-12 hrs after ingestion is typically recommended. Call the California Poison Control Center for guidance in the management of patients with possible iron overdose. Their number is 1-800-8POISON. Total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) is unreliable in iron overdose and should not be used to estimate free iron levels.

Container type gel tube (gold or green top)
Amount to Collect 2 mL
Sample type Blood
Special instructions Hemolyzed serum will not be assayed. Fasting specimen is preferred. In order to receive % saturation, both an iron and Transferrin must be ordered on the same specimen.
Normal range
Iron, serum Male: 65 – 175 mcg/dL (11.64-31.34 mcmol/L)
Female: 50 – 170 mcg/dL (8.96-30.45 mcmol/L)
Transferrin 180-335 mg/dL (1.80- 3.35 g/L)
% Saturation 16-60%
Stability 5 days 2-8°C.
Interferences Hemolysis (release of free hemoglobin) and serum copper at more than 500 mcg/dL (78.5 mcmol/L) may cause a positive interference (false increase) in serum iron measurement. Inaccurate measurement of serum iron and % saturation has been described after administration of parenteral iron formulations (iron -dextran, -gluconate, etc.). EDTA chelates iron and EDTA plasma cannot be assayed.
References 1. Artisa, J.D., Vinogradov, S., and Yak, B.: Spectrophotometric study of several sensitivity reagents for serum iron. Clin Biochem 14(6): 311-315 (1981).

2. Bayer(TM) Clinical Methods Iron (41) B01-4147-01 Advia 1650 Operator's Guide. PN 073-5001-09. Last accessed June 2003. Siemens Medical Solutions Diagnostics, Malvern, PA.

3. Huisman W. Interference of imferon in colorimetric assays for iron.
Clin Chem. 1980 Apr;26(5):635-7.
CPT coding 83540
Last Updated 11/9/2010 11:04:30 AM
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