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ISSN: Print -2349-0977, Online - 2349-4387
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 125-130

Role of soluble transferrin receptor and soluble transferrin receptor index in diagnosing iron deficiency anemia in patients with chronic kidney disease

1 Department of Hematology, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Medicine, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Dipendra Kumar Gupta
Department of Hematology, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2349-0977.201006

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Background: Approximately 25–38% of chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients with anemia suffer absolute or functional iron deficiency. This deficiency is estimated and monitored primarily through two iron indices, viz., transferrin saturation (TSAT) and serum ferritin. However, both these parameters suffer from several lacunae and search continues to establish more true measures. This study enquires into the role of soluble transferrin receptors (sTfR) and ratio of sTfR and log ferritin index (sTfR index) as potential measures of the true iron status in patients. Material and Methods: This prospective cross-sectional study comprised a total of 126 CKD patients with anemia on erythropoietin (EPO) undergoing hemodialysis (HD). Of these 126 patients, 55 had iron deficiency anemia (IDA). Estimations of serum iron, TSAT, serum ferritin, and sTfR and sTfR, indices were performed in each patient. Bone marrow aspiration (BMA) was carried out to determine cellularity, cytomorphology, and myeloid: erythroid (M/E) ratio, and was stained with Prussian blue stain. The results of the bone marrow iron status were taken as the gold standard. Subsequently, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was carried out to assess the discriminative power of the sTfR and sTfR indices for evaluation of iron status in patients with CKD. Results: The cut-off value of sTfR index at its maximum sensitivity (71.8%) and specificity (62%) was found to be 1.39, whereas that of sTfR at its maximum sensitivity (63.6%) and specificity (64.8%) was 3.00. Statistically significant correlations were found between sTfR index (Pearson correlation (r) = –0.379) and serum iron (r = –0.38; P < 0.01), TSAT (r = –0.31; P < 0.01), and serum ferritin (r = –0.399; P < 0.01). sTfR was found to correlate significantly (r = –0.445) with serum iron (P < 0.01), TSAT (r = –0.365; P < 0.01), and hemoglobin (r = –0.179; P = 0.04) but not with serum ferritin (r = 0.12; P = 0.153). Conclusion: sTfR and sTfR index values are useful tools for assessment of iron status in patients with CKD, however, they are at best complementary to the existing indices of serum ferritin and TSAT. Between sTfR and sTfR index, the latter has a greater discriminating power.

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