IRON Overview

  • Optimal Range: 75-150 mg/ml

Causes of Increased

  • Ineffective erythropoiesis (thalassemias, sideroblastic)
  • Intra-vascular hemolysis
  • Liver disease (alcohol, portocaval shunts)
  • Excessive iron intake

Causes of Decreased

  • Iron deficiency (low ferritin level; nutritional, blood loss, , small bowel disease, increased demand)
  • Chronic disease (liver dysfunction, renal dysfunction, etc.)


  • Iron is known for its relationship to hemoglobin, which transports oxygen. Confirm true iron deficiency before supplementing iron. Never give Iron to someone who has an inflamed liver because this can be toxic. With B<sub>12 or Iron deficiencies, give special consideration to increased occurrence in the elderly. The most important test for iron is the serum ferritin.

Some Normal Values in blood serum:

****Iron 50-132ug/dl;

***Iron binding capacity 265-411ug/dl

**Iron saturation 20-55%;

*Transferrin 200-400mg/dl

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