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High transferrin saturation level in the blood

Blood test
High transferrin saturation level in the blood
Last update: 23/04/2020

What is high transferrin saturation called?

  • Transferrin saturation high percentage

What is the normal transferrin saturation percentage in the blood?

If you need to know which are the transferrin saturation reference ranges or you require more information about the role of transferrin saturation in the blood, you can visit normal transferrin saturation level in the blood

What does high transferrin saturation percentage mean?

The transferrin saturation measures the percentage of iron transported by the transferrin of the maximum amount that transferrin can transport. Transferrin is a protein that carries iron trough the bloodstream. A high percentage of transferrin saturation shows an iron overload in the body.

A high percentage of transferrin saturation may be a sign of hemochromatosis, a hereditary disease that is related to iron accumulation in some organs and tissues.

  • Marked transferrin saturation increase (>50 % in adults):

    The transferrin saturation percentage is very high and you should visit your doctor to know the reason.

    The first suspect should be hemochromatosis. To confirm the existence of hemochromatosis, there is a genetic test that detects mutations in the genes affected.

    Another possibility is an iron overload in the body due to multiple blood transfusions or due to iron poisoning.

    When iron overload is very high transferrin saturation can reach over 90%.

Which factors can raise the transferrin saturation?

There are some health circumstances than can raise the transferrin saturation percentage in the blood:

  • Alcoholism
  • Iron poisoning
  • Multiple blood transfusions

Which diseases can raise your transferrin saturation?

There are different diseases why the transferrin saturation percentage can be higher than normal:

Where can I find more information about transferrin saturation in the blood?

You can visit our pages about:

Which values are considered a high transferrin saturation in the blood?

The following values are considered to be above the normal range:

IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in %. They are an example of a healthy woman of about 45 years old with a balanced diet, not known disease and not taking any medication. The ranges can be different depending on the laboratory or on your personal circumstances.

Transferrin saturation
Marked transferrin saturation increase
51 %52 %53 %54 %55 %56 %57 %58 %
59 %60 %61 %62 %63 %64 %65 %66 %
67 %68 %69 %70 %71 %72 %73 %74 %
75 %76 %77 %78 %79 %80 %81 %82 %
83 %84 %85 %86 %87 %88 %89 %90 %
91 %92 %93 %94 %95 %96 %97 %98 %
99 %100 %      
Medically reviewed by Javier Muga Bustamante Ph.D. on 23/04/2020


  • Tietz. Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry. Carl A. Burtis, Edward R. Ashwood, David E. Bruns, Barbara G. Sawyer. WB Saunders Company, 2008. Pag 519. ISBN: 978-0-7216-3865-2.
  • Laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures with nursing diagnoses (8th ed), Jane Vincent Corbett, Angela Denise Banks, ISBN: 978-0-13-237332-6, Pag. 39.
  • Kasvosve, Ishmael & Delanghe, Joris. (2002). Total Iron Binding Capacity and Transferrin Concentration in the Assessment of Iron Status. Clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine: CCLM / FESCC. 40. 1014-8. 10.1515/CCLM.2002.176. Available on:
  • Ooi, Cara & Lepage, Nathalie & Nieuwenhuys, Ed & Sharma, Ajay & Filler, Guido. (2009). Pediatric reference intervals for soluble transferrin receptor and transferrin receptor-ferritin index. World journal of pediatrics : WJP. 5. 122-6. 10.1007/s12519-009-0024-3. Available on:

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