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Transferrin, Serum

Serum transferrin tests chronic iron overload conditions such as hereditary hemochromatosis.

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Transferrin, or otherwise, siderophilin, belongs to the beta globulins and is a glycoprotein with a relatively short (about seven days) half-life. It is formed in the liver and transports iron from the intestinal mucosa to iron storage sites and hemoglobin synthesis sites (bone, muscle, erythrocytes, lymphocytes). Transferrin allows the transfer of iron by binding to the transferrin receptors.

Transferrin can bind more than its weight to iron (1 g can carry 1.43 g of iron). Iron saturation (transferrin saturation) is typically between 20 and 45%. Due to the short half-life, its values ​​decrease more rapidly in malnutrition than albumin.

Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
  • Increase: Iron deficiency anemia with normal protein levels, pregnancy. Medications: Carbamazepine, estrogen, oral contraceptives
  • Decrease: Congenital absence of transferrin (hereditary atransferrinemia), hemolytic anemia, hepatic disease (acquired), inflammation (chronic), iron overload, low iron combined with malnutrition, neoplasm, proteinuria (severe) and other protein-losing conditions, kidney disease. Medications: Cortisone



Important Note

Laboratory test results are the most critical parameter for diagnosing and monitoring all pathological conditions. Between 70 and 80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased."

Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be analyzed based on each case and family history, clinical findings, and other laboratory tests and information. Your physician should explain the importance of your test results.

At Diagnostiki Athinon, we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and contact your doctor to ensure you receive the best possible medical care.

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