THE iron status of four hundred and forty-seven hospital patients was studied in order to assess the efficiency of laboratory tests in diagnosing iron deficiency.
One hundred and three patients (23%) were iron deficient on bone marrow examination. The laboratory tests had a low diagnostic efficiency, with either a low diagnostic rate or a high false positive rate. However, serum ferritin, despite a diagnostic rate of 25% did establish the diagnosis with near certainty, avoiding the need for invasive and costly investigations.
Serum ferritin should be retained in the laboratory investigation of iron deficiency. Serum iron with iron binding capacity should be removed from the repertoir.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Conrad, M., Crosby, W. The natural history of iron deficiency, induced by phlebotomy. Blood 1962: 20, 173–185.
England, J. M., Ward, S. M., Down, M. C. Microcytres, anisocytosis and the red blood cell indices in iron deficiency. British Journal of Haematology 1976: 34, 589–597.
Bainton, D. F., Finch, G. A. The diagnosis of iron deficiency anaemia. American Journal of Medicine 1964: 37, 62–70.
Bowie, E.J.W., Tauxe, W.N., Sjoberg, W. E. Jnr., Yamaguchi, M. Y. Daily variation in the concentration of iron on the serum. American Journal of Clinical Pathology 1963: 40, 491–494.
Elin, R. J., Waff, S. M., Finch, C. A. Effect of induced fever on serum iron and ferritin concentrations in man. Blood 1977: 49, 147–153.
McFarlane, H., Ogbeide, M.I., Reddy, S. Adcock, A. J., Adeshina, H., Gumey, J.M., Cooke, A., Taylor, G.O., Mordie, J. A. Biochemical assessment of protein calorie malnutrition. Lancet 1969: i, 392–394.
Jacobs, A., Miller, F., Worwood, M. Ferritin in the serum of normal subjects and patients with iron deficiency and iron overload. BritishMedical Journal 1972: 4, 206–208.
Lipschitz, D.A., Cook, J.D., Finch, C. A. A clinical evaluation of serum ferritin as an index of ironstores. New England Journal of Medicine 1974: 209, 1213–1216.
Prieto, D. H., Barry, M., Sherlock, S. Serum ferritin in patients with iron overload and with acute and chronic liver disease. Gastroenterology 1975: 68, 525–533.
Jones, P. A. E., Miller, F. M., Worwood, M., Jacobs, A. Ferritaemia in leukaemia and Hodgkin’s disease. British Journal of Cancer 1973: 27, 212–217.
Galen, R. S., Gambino, S. R. Beyond normality; the predictive value and efficiency of medical diagnosis (1st Ed.). New York: Wiley, 1975.
Worwood, M. Serum ferritin. Clinical Science 1986: 70, 215–220.
About this article
Cite this article
Lough, M., Egan, E.L. & O’Cearbhaill, H.G. Diagnosing iron deficiency in a hospital population. I.J.M.S. 158, 108–109 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02943037
- Iron Deficiency
- Serum Ferritin
- Iron Overload
- Serum Iron
- Prussian Blue