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Is TIBC the same as Transferrin?


Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) is an approximate estimation of the serum transferrin level. Whereas Transferrin is the actual measurement of the serum transferrin level. The major difference being the term “approximate estimation” for TIBC.

TIBC is not an exact measurement of transferrin because not all of the iron is bound by transferrin. The test is performed by saturating the serum with excess iron, which saturates the transferrin present in the sample. From this reading, you can estimate the capacity for the transferrin to bind iron. All the iron not bound to protein is removed and the serum iron is measured.

Transferrin testing has gotten a lot easier and cheaper, so physicians are now adding transferrin to their iron panels. We now have transferrin in the ODX  software.