Iron and Iron Binding Capacity (IBC)

Sunquest Code:FEBC  
Epic Code:LAB829Epic Name:Iron and Iron Binding Capacity
Order Instructions:Test code generates FE, FEB, ISI
Synonyms:Iron Saturation; FEBC; TIBC
Methodology:Biochromatic end point
Test Includes:Iron, % saturation, total iron binding capacity
Turnaround Time:Performed daily,
Special Instructions:Falsely elevated iron levels will result if the patient has received Imferon within the past two months.

Collection Instructions

Optimal Volume:2.5 mL
Minimum\Peds Volume:0.6 mL
Container:Red or gold (gel) (Green (lithium heparin, no gel), Green (lithium heparin, gel), Red (no gel))
Collection Instructions:Collect sample before patient is given therapeutic iron or a blood transfusion. Blood transfusion can transiently (<24 h) increase serum iron concentration and transferrin saturation (but not total iron binding capacity), particularly if the blood has been stored for a longer period (Blood 2011 Dec 15; 118(25):6675-82; Arch Pathol Lab Med 1993 Jun; 117(6):(622-4).Therefore, if a patient has received blood, delay testing for 24 hours to avoid false elevation of iron or transferrin saturation. Calculation for Transferrin Saturation: (serum iron/TIBC) x 100.
Causes for Rejection:Hemolysis

Processing and Shipping

Specimen Processing:Centrifuge within 4 hours and aliquot 1.25 mL, 0.2 mL minimum. Store in refrigerator.
Shipping Instructions:Ship at refrigerated temperature.
Stability:7 days refrigerated; 6 months frozen.
Test Performed at or Referral Lab Chemistry  (University of Minnesota Health Maple Grove Clinics, Range, UMMC-East Bank, Oxboro Bloom, Lakes, Ridges, Northland, Southdale, UMMC/UMMCH-West Bank, M Health Clinic and Surgery Center)


Reference Range:  All Sites:
Age Iron
ISI (%)
0-6 d 110-270 160-300 15-46
7-30 d 80-156 160-300 15-46
1-3 mo 25-115 160-300 15-46
4-5 mo 25-115 240-430 15-46
6 mo-13 y 25-140 240-430 15-46
14 y & older 35-180 240-430 15-46
Use:Increased iron saturation occurs with hemochromatosis, lead poisoning, thalassemia. Decreased iron saturation occurs with iron deficiency. May be normal with anemia or chronic disease.

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