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Transferrin saturation, measured as a percentage, is a medical laboratory value. It is the value of serum iron divided by the total iron-binding capacity. Of the transferrin that is available to bind iron, this value tells a clinician how much serum iron is bound. For instance, a value of 15% means that 15% of iron-binding sites of transferrin are being occupied by iron. For an explanation of some clinical situations in which this ratio is important, see Total iron-binding capacity. The three results are usually reported together.
Normal reference ranges are:
- Serum iron: 60–170 μg/dL (10–30 μmol/L)
- Total iron-binding capacity: 240–450 μg/dL
- Transferrin saturation: 15–50% (males), 12–45% (females)
μg/dL = micrograms per deciliter μmol/L = micromoles per liter
Laboratories often use different units and "normal" may vary by population and the lab techniques used. To help clinicians interpret their patients' results, laboratories are generally also required to report their normal or reference values.
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