% Saturation

Percentage saturation of transferrin (Tf) with iron is a test provided as part of the iron panel. It is a simple calculation based on the iron and TIBC. 

% saturation of Tf = [iron ÷ TIBC] x 100

In health, roughly 33% of the circulating iron binding sites are occupied, although the actual range (or reference interval) is quite broader than this and varies with species.  Since the percent saturation is dependent on iron and TIBC, the results for all three tests should be interpreted together, i.e. in parallel (see iron panels).

Related links

  • Clinical Pathology Laboratory in the Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory at Cornell University website: Information on testing for iron panels (iron, TIBC, % saturation). These are included on our small and large animal chemistry panels and reference intervals for percentage saturation are available for dogs, cats, horses, cows, camelids, and goats.
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