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Normal: 250 to 300 mg/dL



Like albumin and prealbumin, transferrin is also synthesized by the liver.  Transferrin is a visceral protein which serves as the transport protein for iron in the plasma.  Transferrin has an intermediate half-life, 8 to 10 days, and therefore changes in nutrient intake or requirements, especially protein, are reflected in the transferrin level within a week.


Low transferrin levels: Less than 250 mg/dL


Malnutrition, poor protein intake.
Transferrin levels are affected by fluid status but to a lesser degree than albumin.
Physiological stress causes a rapid decrease in transferrin levels,just as occurs with albumin.  Therefore, transferrin levels obtained within a week of surgery, trauma or development of an acute infection, may be unreliable as an indicator of nutritional status.



Low transferrin levels are not associated with specific symptoms or signs.



Mild deficit:                <200 mg/dl

Moderate deficit:        100-199 mg/dl

Severe deficit:                <100 mg/dl


TPN correction:  

Optimal re-feeding leads to a gradual increase in serum transferrin.




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