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Transferrin Blood Test

* This is not a home test kit. You will need to visit a local lab for testing.

Also Known As


Purpose of the Transferrin Blood Test

A transferrin blood test evaluates the blood’s ability to bind with iron and transport it throughout the body. It aids in diagnosing iron-deficiency anemia, hemochromatosis, and medical conditions, including certain cancers.

Transferrin (891)
Transferrin (004937)

What Does the Transferrin Test Measure?

This test measures the level of transferrin in the blood. Transferrin is a protein responsible for transporting iron to various tissues, especially those involved in blood production.

As iron makes up hemoglobin (the protein carrying oxygen in the body), it is mainly found in the red blood cells (RBCs). With that, assessing transferrin helps diagnose certain blood disorders, like anemia and conditions linked to iron absorption abnormalities.

Who Should Take a Transferrin Lab Test?

Those experiencing symptoms related to iron deficiency and overload (hemochromatosis)  should strongly consider taking the transferrin test. Check out the following symptoms.

Iron deficiency

  • Brittle nails
  • Weakness
  • Chest pain
  • Sore tongue
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Pale skin (pallor)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness and headache
  • Unusual cravings (especially for non-food items)

Iron overload 

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Stomachache
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Joint and knuckle pain

People who have a family history of hemochromatosis should also have transferrin lab work done as part of their routine checkup and in addition to a wellness blood test.

Transferrin Blood Work Preparation

Before taking the transferrin lab test, fasting for at least 12 hours is required. This means you must abstain from eating and drinking, except for water, within the said timeframe. Learn more about how to fast before a blood test.

Transferrin Lab Test Results

The normal range for transferrin is 188-341 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). However, these values may vary slightly depending on the laboratory where you have undergone the test.

High transferrin levels could indicate low iron, which typically ties up with iron-deficiency anemia and other severe conditions like cancer. In contrast, deficient transferrin may suggest iron overload and liver disease.

While transferrin provides clues about your serum iron transport, it does not offer conclusive analysis enough to form an accurate diagnosis. Hence, it is often taken alongside other tests, such as a ferritin blood test or as part of the iron-binding capacity (TIBC) blood test panel.

Where Can I Get a Transferrin Blood Test Done Near Me?

Getting a transferrin test is easy when you carry out these steps.

Step 1: Go to our website’s prostate cancer blood tests section under the cancer screening tests. Order the transferrin blood test, then download and print the lab test order. This becomes your doctor’s order for your lab work.

Step 2: Using our lab locator, choose a partner laboratory.

Step 3: Visit your chosen lab for blood sample collection.

Step 4: Expect the lab test results within 2-10 business days in your Personalabs account.

For an exact turnaround time for results, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at 1-888-438-5227. We will contact the lab of your choice (Quest Diagnostics or LabCorp) as turnaround times vary depending on testing location or lab testing provider.

Additional information


LabCorp, Quest

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