Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC), Serum


TIBC measures the extent to which iron-binding sites in the serum can be saturated. Because the iron-binding sites in serum are almost entirely dependent on circulating transferrin, this is really an indirect measurement of the amount of transferrin in the blood. However, because the liver produces transferrin, liver function must be considered when performing this test.


This test is useful in the differential diagnosis of anaemia, especially with hypochromia and/or low MCV. The percent saturation sometimes is more helpful than is the iron result for iron deficiency anaemia. TIBC evaluates Thalassemia and possible sideroblastic anaemia; work-up haemochromatosis, in which iron is increased and iron saturation is high. Evaluate iron poisoning (toxicity) and overload in renal dialysis patients, or patients with transfusion dependent anaemias. TIBC or transferrin is a useful index of nutritional status.

Sample Type, Quantity & Conditions

1 ml Serum Stability: 4 Days at 15‑25 °C 7 Days at 2‑8 °C

Special Precautions

Avoid haemolysed and lipemic samples.

Normal Range

250 - 410 μg/dL 44.8 - 73.4 µmol/L

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