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Serum iron test

Fe+2; Ferric ion; Fe++; Ferrous ion; Iron - serum; Anemia - serum iron; Hemochromatosis - serum iron

A serum iron test measures how much iron is in your blood.

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Blood test

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How the Test is Performed

A blood sample is needed.

How to Prepare for the Test

Iron level can change, depending on how recently you ingested iron. Your health care provider will likely have you do this test in the morning or after fasting.

Certain medicines may affect the results of this test. Your provider will tell you if you need to stop taking any medicines. DO NOT stop any medicine before talking to your provider.

Medicines that can affect the test result include:

How the Test will Feel

When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away.

Why the Test is Performed

Your provider may recommend this test if you have:

Normal Results

Normal value range is:

The numbers above are common measurements for results of these tests. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Higher-than-normal iron level may be a sign of:

Lower-than-normal level may be a sign of:

Risks

There is little risk involved with having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood from some people may be more difficult than from others.

Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight, but may include:

Related Information

Hemoglobin
Muscle cramps
Ferritin blood test
Total iron binding capacity
Hemochromatosis
Hemolytic anemia
Hepatic
Necrosis
Hepatitis
Vitamin B12
Vitamin B6
Iron overdose
Gastrointestinal bleeding
Iron in diet

References

Brittenham GM. Disorders of iron homeostasis: iron deficiency and overload. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, et al, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 36.

Bunn HF. Approach to the anemias. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 158.

Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Iron (Fe) – serum. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:690-691.

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Review Date: 1/19/2018  

Reviewed By: Richard LoCicero, MD, private practice specializing in hematology and medical oncology, Longstreet Cancer Center, Gainesville, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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