The main purpose of this Manual is to provide useful guidelines for the selection of pathology tests and to facilitate interpretation of results.
Contains a comprehensive listing of all genes from the Human Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) database alongside laboratories and tests available in the country.
A manual for the process of macroscopic dissection in Anatomical Pathology laboratories.
Donate online now using the button below. RCPA Foundation thanks you for your generous support. All funds raised will be allocated to the RCPA Foundation Pathology Education Outreach Fellowship.
Events and Sponsorship Manager
Ph: +61 2 8356 5806
Fax: +61 2 8356 5828
Events and Grants Coordinator
Ph: +61 2 8356 5852
Fax: +61 2 8356 5828
Keywords: FER, Fe stores, Iron stores
5 mL blood in lithium heparin or plain tube.
Levels are age and gender dependent with method-related upper reference limits.
Adult female (premenopausal): 20-220 µg/L.
Adult female (postmenopausal): 30-370 µg/L.
Adult male: 30-620 µg/L.
Investigation of suspected Iron deficiency or Iron overload.
Serum ferritin levels ≥30 µg/L up to the method-related upper reference limit demonstrates healthy iron stores as long as co-existing inflammatory disease or hepatocellular damage are not present.
A serum ferritin level ≤20 µg/L for pre-pubescent children (with or without anaemia) is diagnostic of iron deficiency.
A serum ferritin level <30 µg/L for an adult is diagnostic of iron deficiency.
Serum ferritin levels of 20-60 µg/L in an anaemic pre-pubescent child may represent iron deficiency if there is coexisting inflammatory disease.
Serum ferritin levels of 30-100 µg/L in an anaemic adult may represent iron deficiency if there is coexisting inflammatory disease. In these cases the ratio of ferritin to soluble transferrin receptors gives better discrimination.
An elevated ferritin concentration above the method-related upper reference limit may be due to concurrent inflammatory disease, liver disease or iron overload (Hereditary haemochromatosis and Haemosiderosis). A raised percentage transferrin saturation in isolation may be the earliest indicator of iron overload.
Serum ferritin concentrations typically fall in the last 4 weeks of normal pregnancy. This reflects transfer of organic iron from mother to fetus, rather than any change in iron metabolism. However, a ferritin concentration <30 µg/L is still considered diagnostic of iron deficiency at any stage of pregnancy. As for non-pregnant individuals, ferritin concentrations in the 30-100 µg/L range could indicate iron deficiency in the presence of co-existing inflammatory disease.
See Table 3.
Brugnara C. Iron deficiency and erythropoiesis: new diagnostic approaches. Clin Chem 2003; 49: 1573-8.
Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. Iron Studies Standardised Reporting Protocol. Sydney: RCPA, 2013.
Page last updated:
The RCPA is the leading organisation representing Pathologists and Senior Scientists in Australasia.
Its mission is to train and support pathologists and senior scientists and to improve the use of pathology testing to achieve better healthcare.
Copyright © 2021 RCPA. All rights reserved.