Diagnosis of Iron Deficiency

Summary: To diagnose iron deficiency, first determine if the patient has absolute iron deficiency, functional iron deficiency or both for decisions related to effective management. Reticulocyte studies are always indicated when assessing / diagnosing iron deficiency. Iron studies should consist of serum iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), percent transferrin saturation (Fe/TIBC) and serum ferritin should suffice to diagnose iron deficiency. Iron therapy choice should be based on patient’s iron status, tolerance of oral iron and urgency of correction.

  1. Approach to the Iron Deficient Patient

  2. Laboratory Studies in the Diagnosis of Iron Deficiency, Latent Iron Deficiency, and Iron Deficient Erythropoiesis

  3. Laboratory Testing Algorithm for Anemia

  4. Anemia Laboratory Values

  5. Diagnostic Algorithm for Absolute and Functional Iron Deficiency – Example