Capillary electrophoresis analysis of transferrin in human serum is used to assess genetic variants after desialylation with neuraminidase and iron saturation to reduce the complexity of the transferrin pattern and thus facilitate the recognition of transferrin polymorphisms. Asialo-transferrin forms are analyzed by capillary zone electrophoresis using assay conditions as for the monitoring of carbohydrate-deficient transferrin or by capillary isoelectric focusing in a pH 5-8 gradient which requires immunoextraction of transferrin prior to analysis. With the carrier ampholytes used, peaks for iron saturated and iron depleted transferrin are monitored which indicates complexation of iron ions by carrier ampholytes. For BC, CD, and BD genetic variants, the expected peaks for B, C, and D forms of transferrin were detected with both methods. Monitoring of CC patterns revealed three cases, namely those producing double peaks in both methods, a double peak in capillary isoelectric focusing only and a double peak in capillary zone electrophoresis only. For all samples analyzed, data obtained by capillary isoelectric focusing could be confirmed with gel isoelectric focusing. The two capillary electrophoresis methods are shown to represent effective tools to assess unusual transferrin patterns, including genetic variants with dissimilar abundances of the two forms.