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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Alpha Thalassemia. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Serum Iron

The serum iron for normal adults is about 50-150ug/dL. The iron binding capacity is normally 250-400ug/dL. The transferrin saturation usually falls between 20-50% in healthy individuals.

Individuals with alpha thalassemia, especially Hb H disease, may have a slightly increased level of serum iron with a slightly decreased iron binding capacity. The percent of transferrin saturation is usually increased.

An iron stain of bone marrow smears usually demonstrate increased levels of hemosiderin. Sideroblasts are present along with an occasional ringed sideroblast, as shown on the right.