Iron Saturation Test
Ferritin is a protein that stores iron in the body and regulates its supply throughout as per the body’s demand. It binds to another protein called transferrin to transport iron wherever it is needed in the body. In the bloodstream, nearly 70% of the iron is carried by transferrin. The iron saturation test calculation is done by measuring the percentage of bound iron (iron bound to transferrin). To calculate iron saturation, the serum iron value is divided by the total iron binding capacity and then multiplied by 100. Compared to the serum iron test, the iron saturation blood test gives a more precise measure of a number of iron stores in the body.
Why is the test ordered?
The test is ordered to get a better picture of the iron levels in the body, and to cure the imbalance if it is present and detected.
When is the test ordered?
A physician orders this test when he or she suspects iron deficiency symptoms in a patient. These include:
- Shortness of breath
- Joint pain
- Abdominal pain
- Pale skin
- Cold skin
- Loss of libido
The test may also be ordered as a follow-up test to other iron tests and to distinguish between anaemia owing to any chronic disease or disorder and anaemia due to iron deficiency.
How is the sample collected?
A blood sample is collected from a vein in the arm.
How to prepare for the test?
No special preparations are required for this test.