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Transferrin is a glycoprotein with a molecular weight of about 77, 000 daltons which is synthesized in the liver. Its half-life is approximately 7 days. Transferrin is a negative acute phase reactant. Blood levels are regulated by availability of iron. In iron deficiency, transferrin levels are elevated, but the protein is less saturated with iron (serum iron and percent saturation of transferrin are decreased). In the anemia of chronic disease, both transferrin and serum iron levels are typically low. In iron overload, transferrin level is normal but saturation is >60%, and may be as high as 90%. High levels occur in pregnancy and during estrogen administration.

Reference range is 170 - 340 mg/dL.

Specimen requirement is one SST tube of blood.

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