Pathology Handbook

Transferrin Saturation

Clinical Indications

Transferrin saturation is used as a screening test for haemochromatosis, a common (1 in 200-300 individuals), autosomal recessive disorder of iron absorption, with progressively increasing iron stores and organ damage. Not all patients with the genetic abnormality may be symptomatic, but they remain at risk.
Raised levels should be confirmed by genotyping for HFE mutations.

Request Form

Request on ICE


Only available for the investigation of possible iron overload

Specific Criteria

Screening for haemochromatosis or if requested by Consultant Haematologist

Turnaround Time



Serum in yellow top (SST) tube


2 mL


Vacutainer gold top

Causes for Rejection

Unlabelled sample. Not meeting specific criteria for analysis.

Reference Range

A persistent transferrin saturation >50% in the absence of other potential causes of iron overload is suggestive of hereditary haemochromatosis.

Transferrin reference range: 2.0-3.5 g/L