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Test Identifier Information

Registration CodeSTFR

Nephelometry: - Polystyrene particles coated with a monoclonal antibody to human sTfR are aggregated when mixed with samples containing sTfR.  These aggregates scatter a beam of light passed through the sample.  The intensity of the scattered light is proportional to the concentration of sTfR in the sample.  The result is evaluated by comparison with a standard of known concentration.

Diagnostic Use / Indications
Soluble transferrin receptor quantitation is used for the evaluation of suspected iron deficiency in patients who may have inflammation, infection, or chronic disease and other conditions in which ferritin concentration does not correlate with iron status including: 
  • Inflammation
  •  Infection
  • Chronic disease
  • Malignancy
  • Pregnancy
  • Neonates
  • Competitive athletes
  • Cystic fibrosis patients where there is frequent inflammation or infection.
  • Insulin dependent diabetes with iron deficiency (from gastro autoimmunity or atrophic gastritis).
  • Transplant recipients.
External Price$38.00(Exclusive of GST)

Specimen Collection

Patient Specimen2.0mL Red Top or Heparin(Green)
Paediatric SpecimenBlood 0.5 mL Plain(Red)

Instructions for Referral to CHLabs

Aliquot Instructions0.25 mL serum.
Aliquot Transport to CHLRefrigerated (preferred) or ambient.

CHLabs Laboratory

DepartmentBiochemistry - Protein Laboratory
Contact Details Email Email
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Contact Phone Number(03)3640334 | x80334
Test AvailabilityTuesday and Friday. 8.00 am - 4.00 pm.
Turnaround Time1 - 4 days
Reference Interval
Normal0.76 mg/L1.76 mg/L

 A value of >1.76 mg/L is indicative of iron deficiency.

NOTE: Patients with haemolysis and recent blood loss may have falsely elevated sTfR levels.
sTfR is elevated in patients with thalassemia and sickle cell disease. Caution should be exercised in managing anaemia in these individuals based on the sTfR test results.


Iron uptake into cells is mediated through internalizing iron-transferrin complexes. The iron-transferrin complex binds to transferrin receptors present on the external face of the plasma membrane, and is internalized through endosomes with ultimate release of iron into the cytoplasm. Plasma membrane-bound transferrin receptor is released by proteolytic cleavage of the extracellular domain, resulting in the formation of a truncated soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) that circulates freely in the blood.
The concentration of sTfR is an indicator of iron status. Iron deficiency causes overexpression of transferrin receptor and increased sTfR levels, while iron repletion results in decreased sTfR levels. While ferritin measurement is the accepted method for assessment of iron deficiency, ferritin is an acute-phase reactant and elevates in response to processes that do not correlate with iron status, including inflammation, chronic disease, malignancy, and infection. sTfR is not an acute-phase reactant and the interpretation of iron status using sTfR measurement is not affected by these confounding pathologies.
Soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) concentrations are inversely related to iron status; sTfR elevates in response to iron deficiency and decreases in response to iron repletion.


Additional Information

Refer to Protein Chemistry Lab. Ext 80334

Other markers of iron metabolism should also be considered:


Delphic Number Test Number3137

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