Ferritin is a protein that stores iron inside your cells. You need iron to make healthy red blood cells, and it is vital for muscles, bone marrow, organs, and brain development in children. Low ferritin levels may indicate iron deficiency anemia or another related condition. High ferritin levels can indicate there is excess iron in your body, suggesting liver disease, hyperthyroidism, or alcohol abuse.
Serum iron test measures the amount of iron in the blood. Transferrin test measures transferrin, a protein that moves iron throughout the body. Total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) measures how well iron attaches to transferrin and other proteins in the blood. These tests help to detect the cause of anemia relating to iron deficiency.
Transferrin is the main protein in the blood that binds to iron and transports it throughout the body. It may be used along with other iron tests to assess the amount of iron circulating in the blood, the total capacity of the blood to transport iron, and the amount of stored iron in the body. The test may also help differentiate between various causes of anemia.