The Measurement of Total and Unsaturated Iron-Binding Capacity in Serum


  • International Committee for Standardization in Haematology

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      Members of the Expert Panel: T. H. Bothwell, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; M. E. Conrad, University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A.; J. D. Cook, University of Kansas, Kansas City, U.S.A.; J. Fielding, St Mary's Hospital, London, U.K.; L. Hallberg, Sahlgren's Hospital, Goteborg, Sweden; G. Izak, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel; M. Layrisse, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas, Caracas, Venezuela; W. N. M. Ramsay, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland.

  • Correspondence: Dr J. Fielding, St Mary's Hospital, Harrow Road, London, W.9.


An inter-laboratory investigation into the assay of serum iron binding capacity by the magnesium carbonate adsorption method was undertaken. The source of MgCO3, storage temperature of whole serum, lyophilization and storage temperature of lyophilized serum were identified as sources of inter-laboratory variation. Protocols for the clinical assay of UIBC and TIBC are given which have achieved satisfactory inter-laboratory precision.