Iron and Iron Binding Capacity (IBC)

Abbrev Code:FEBC   
Order Code:LAB829Order Name:Iron and Iron Binding Capacity
Order Instructions:Test code generates FE, FEB, ISI
Synonyms:LAB3467; Iron Saturation; FEBC; TIBC
  • Iron: Colormetric
  • UIBC: Direct determination with FerroZine

Vista: Biochromatic end point
CPT Codes: 83550 x1, 83550 x1, 83540 x1, 83540 x1
Test Includes:Iron, % saturation, total iron binding capacity
Turnaround Time:Performed and reported daily.
Special Instructions:Falsely elevated iron levels will result if the patient has received Imferon within the past two months.
Associated Links:

Roche Go Live Schedule

Collection Instructions

Optimal Volume:2.5 mL
Minimum\Peds Volume:0.6 mL
Collection Instructions:Chemistry Tests Containers Chart

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.
Li heparin in plasma values are aproximately 6% lower than serum values.
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.
If samples contain precipitate, centrifuge before testing.
Shipping Instructions:Ship at refrigerated temperature.
Stability:Roche: 7 days at room temperature; 3 weeks refrigerated; 2 years frozen.
Vista: 7 days refrigerated; 6 months frozen.
Test Performed at or Referral Lab Chemistry  (CSC Maple Grove, Roche-CSC Mpls, Roche-Grand Itasca, Roche-Lakes, Roche-Northland, Roche-Range, Roche-Ridges, Roche-Southdale, Roche-St. John's, Roche-UMMC East, Roche-UMMC West)


Reference Range:Roche
  Iron (ug/dL) UIBC (ug/dL) Iron Binding
Capacity (ug/dL)
Iron Sat
Index (%)
All   112-347   15-46
Male 61-157      
Female 37-145      
0-3 mo     160-300  
≥4 mo     240-430  
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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