total iron-binding capacity
Definition: an indirect method of determining the transferrin level in serum. Transferrin is saturated by the addition of iron to a serum specimen. Excess iron is removed, and the specimen is analyzed for iron content. The result is the total amount of iron that can be bound by transferrin. This result is helpful in differentiating anemias: high TIBC is associated with iron deficiency, low TIBC is associated with excess iron.