Evaluation of iron status

Most useful indirect measure of iron stores is serum ferritin estimation. Rises to maximum concentration of 4000|jg/L and may underestimate 129 extent of iron overload in some patients. Note: may be spuriously increased by infection, inflammation or neoplasia. The % transferrin saturation provides confirmatory evidence but no measure of the extent of iron overload. Liver biopsy provides a direct albeit invasive measure of iron stores (% iron concentration by weight) and visual assessment of iron distribution, and the extent of tissue damage.

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