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Iron and Total Iron-binding Capacity Blood Test

TIBC, transferrin saturation, Unsaturated Iron-binding Capacity (UIBC)
Sample Report
Specimen Type: Blood


Iron and Total Iron-binding Capacity Blood Test

This test provides several measurements related to a person's iron levels.  Iron is a nutrient which is essential to a number of bodily processes including the production of red blood cells.  Iron is absorbed from the food a person eats and transported through the body by Transferrin, a protein produced by the liver.  Iron testing can be useful for helping to determine if a person is suffering from iron deficiency or overload. 

This test includes the following measurements:

  • Iron, Serum: A measure of iron in the blood:
  • Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC): Measures proteins in the blood, including transferrin, which are available to bind with iron.
  • UIBC: Measures the reserve portion of transferrin which has not yet been saturated with iron.
  • Iron Saturation: A calculation of the percent of transferrin which is saturated with iron.

This test is usually ordered when a person a person has had abnormal results from a CBC, especially if the Hematocrit and Hemoglboin are out of range.  It may also be ordered when a person is experiencing symptoms of iron deficiency or overload.  The Iron and TIBC test provides more information that a standard Iron Blood Test.

Turnaround time for the Iron and TIBC test is typically 1 business day.

Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.


Iron and Total Iron-binding Capacity testing should occur prior to given therapeutic iron or blood transfusion. Collection should occur a minimum of 4 days after blood transfusion.



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