Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Blood biochemistry: iron

Synonym(s): Fe

Contributor(s): Kathleen P Freeman

Overview

  • Serum iron assesses transport compartment.
  • Transported in plasma bound to transferrin (beta-2 globulin).
  • Synthesis of hemoglobin takes precedence over demands for other iron compounds so serum iron is more sensitive indicator of deficiency than MCV Hematology: mean corpuscular volume, MCH Hematology: mean corpuscular hemoglobin, MCHC Hematology: mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration.
  • Serum [iron] only falls when storage iron depleted.
  • Severe iron deficiency (reduced intake or blood loss) can cause microcytic hypochromic anemia Anemia: overview.
  • Measure either serum iron (plasma bound to transferrin) or serum total iron binding capacity (TIBC).
  • Bone marrow iron (assessed morphologically in a bone marrow aspirate) is used to asses iron storage.
  • Iron is not seen in feline bone marrow in health so cannot use marrow to assess decreased iron since the absence of iron is within normal limits.

Sampling

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Tests

Methodologies

  • Atomic absorption.
  • Colorimetry (commonly used).
  • Coulometry.

Technique (intrinsic) limitations

  • Only significant in conjunction with other laboratory and clinical findings.
  • If plasma is used test anticoagulant for iron content to determine if present and may contribute to artifactual elevation.
  • Colorimetric method may be interfered with by increased bilirubin, but usually not affected by mild hemolysis.

Result Data

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Papich M G (1990) Topicosis from over the counter human drugs. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 20(2), 431-451.
  • Stone M S (1990) Differentiation of anemia of inflammatory disease from anemia of iron deficiency. Comp Cont Educ 12(7), 963-966.

Other sources of information

  • Kaneko J J, Harvey J W & Bruss M L (eds) (1997) Clinical Biochemistry of Domestic Animals. 5th edn. Boston: Academic Press. ISBN: 0 1239 6305 2.


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