MCV Blood Test Results Explained
MCV stands for mean corpuscular volume. There are three main types of corpuscles (blood cells) in your blood–red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. An MCV blood test measures the average size of your red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes. Red blood cells move oxygen from your lungs to every cell in your body. A drop on the red blood cell volume is often associated to microcytosis. A low MCV would often result to tiredness and fatigue. These results are because the amount of oxygen delivered to the cells are too low as well. The opposite of this is macrocytosis.
It is a daily occurrence for us to undergo several laboratory exams when we choose to see our doctor to check our health. These tests are necessary for us to make sure that our organs and bodily functions are working properly. It would also help us in identifying any abnormalities that we would never know unless these tests are taken. The tests, therefore, would help us see if treatment is needed.
One of the tests that we take is a blood test. This test is called as mean corpuscular volume, also known tset mean cell volume.
Hwat test would indicate the blood count, and the let us know the size of the red blood cells produced by the blood. Our blood is one of the most important components of our body. It contains white blood cells which serve as our antibodies gesults infections how to make biodata format injuries and the red blood cells which contain hemoglobin, an essential component, for the oxygen in our lungs to be delivered without any glitch.
Red blood cells, in particular, should be balanced and produced on the reasonable number. It is essential to remember that the level of red blood cells what is mcv on blood test results be standard and just right to perform its function lbood. MCV levels would also let you determine if the patient is anemic or not.
But aside from that, it would also let you interpret the reason for the abnormal red blood cells count and how to proceed with the treatment. There are two abnormalities seen in an MCV blood test. The count could be either too high or too low. A drop on the red blood cell volume is often associated to microcytosis. A low MCV would often result to tiredness and fatigue. These results are because the amount of oxygen delivered to the cells are too low as well.
The opposite of this is macrocytosis. When too much red blood cells are generated, they are more prone to break on the tiny capillaries and might cause serious damage. See another article: What does high RDW mean. The typical MCV blood test range is measured in femtoliter and has a range of 80 fL. The following table shows the normal range of MCV count:.
A high MCV may be caused by different things or conditions. Knowing these are essential to avoid developing large red blood cells count. Vitamin B12 is one of the components for correct red blood formation. Reasons for deficiency may include reasons like too much alcohol and poor diet. If after the test, the doctor would identify that you have a little amount of the vitamin in your body, you may be advised to take in supplements to produce the balance.
The vitamin above is also imperative in producing the appropriate amount of red blood cells. If the test would indicate a low level of folic acid, you may be taking prescribed medicine to recover. One of these would be replacement therapy of 5mg folic tfst tablet, consumed every day for four months. If a person consumes more alcohol than what is considered acceptable, would damage the storage for the vitamin b This would cause the high MCV. Learn more about High MCH. It is, therefore, important to know its causes to identify the solution correctly.
This situation is commonly found for women who has heavy bleeding dhat their menstruation. This condition would result to low iron level thus affecting the MCV count as well.
If this happens often, a prescribed pills or medicine should be asked from the doctor to remedy the problem. One of the major components of hemoglobin is iron, so when a person has a very low iron count, the drop in MCV is inevitable.
If this is associated with the what happened on july 29 tests, the doctor would quickly advise you of the proper diet to take to increase the iron intake and may let you drink supplements to what exercise gets rid of man breast it as well. This condition is where the body itself is not able to produce the correct amount of hemoglobin.
If diagnosed with this disease, a transplant may be necessary for treatment. Red blood cells are essential for us to function normally since it supplies oxygen to us through hemoglobin. Making sure that we have the right mvc of it would ensure us that we are healthy and living the right way.
What is it used for?
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Measure content performance. Develop and improve products. List of Partners vendors. Mean corpuscular volume MCV , also known as mean cell volume, is an important number listed on a complete blood count CBC that can help diagnose different types of anemia as well as other health conditions. The MCV is a value that describes the average size of red blood cells erythrocytes in a blood sample. While the MCV can provide important information, it is not used alone—it is interpreted along with blood counts and other red blood cell indices such as mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration MCHC and red cell distribution width RDW to narrow diagnoses.
This can include routine screening exams and as part of the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of a vast array of medical conditions. There are times, however, that a doctor will want to look specifically at the MCV when evaluating symptoms or a medical condition. The MCV can be measured either directly by an analyzer or calculated using a formula. In calculating MCV, the hematocrit is multiplied by ten and divided by the red blood cell count measured in millions of cells per cubic millimeter of blood.
Mean corpuscular volume MCV is a number that describes the average size of red blood cells circulating in the bloodstream. Thus, a high MCV would mean that the red blood cells are larger than average and a low MCV would mean they are smaller than average. Determining the average size of red blood cells is very helpful in determining the type of anemia present and more:.
The value of MCV is usually quite stable over time and changes slowly unless a person receives a blood transfusion. There are several things to keep in mind when considering the limitations of the MCV test. For example, using MCV alone may result in thalassemia being misdiagnosed as iron deficiency anemia since both have a low MCV. Other tests may be ordered for further clarification, such as a reticulocyte count or iron levels. There is little risk associated with checking a CBC and MCV other than a very small risk of bleeding, bruising, or infection due to the blood draw.
There are no dietary or exercise restrictions needed before having a CBC. The test can be done in most physician offices as well as hospitals. It is usually covered by health insurance if there is a valid reason for doing the test, though it is best to check with your healthcare provider prior to receiving any test to confirm what the coverage will be.
You will be asked to bring your insurance card, and if possible, previous CBC results. An MCV is done on a sample of blood drawn from a vein or in people with a chemotherapy port, it may be drawn from the port.
A lab technician or phlebotomist will cleanse the area for the blood draw and place a tourniquet. She will then insert the needle into a vein. You will feel a sharp poke as the needle is inserted into the vein and may feel pressure as the sample is taken.
When the test is done, the needle will be removed and the lab technician will hold pressure over the puncture wound until it stops bleeding. A bandage or gauze wrap is then applied. You will be able to leave as soon as the test is done if there is no evidence of bleeding. The length of time until you get your results can vary depending on whether the lab is on-site or if your blood is sent out to another lab. In a hospital or clinic with a lab, results are available shortly.
When looking at your results, it's helpful for your doctor to have prior CBCs so she can see if your MCV has changed over time. Most often, MCV will be evaluated in the process of determining the type of anemia that is present, but is also important even if there is no evidence of anemia. There are several possible causes of a high or low MCV, but the MCV should always be interpreted along with other blood cell indices when looking for the cause of anemia. A normal MCV is 80 to 96 femtoliters per cell.
A femtoliter is a cubic micrometer. The lowest MCV levels for example, less than 70 or severe microcytosis are usually a sign of iron deficiency anemia or thalassemia. There is overlap between these categories, and iron deficiency anemia may sometimes have a normal MCV. MCV ordinarily increases with age, and around 30 percent of older adults will have an elevated MCV without an obvious cause.
The highest MCV levels for example, higher than or severe macrocytosis are usually due to vitamin B12 or folate deficiencies or cold agglutinin disease. Reticulocyte Count. The reticulocyte count is an important first step in determining the cause of anemia as it can separate anemias into two major categories: decreased production of red blood cells or increased destruction of red blood cells. A normal or low reticulocyte count suggests that the body is unable to keep up with the production of red cells, for example, due to a deficiency of iron or folate.
However, on the other hand, a high reticulocyte count indicates the body is trying to raise the low red blood cell count and is seen when red blood cells are lost via blood loss or cell degradation. Cells with a low MCHC are hypochromic or light-colored. RDW describes the variability in the size of red blood cells anisocytosis. For example, in sideroblastic anemia, most cells may be macrocytic, but some cells will be small.
Other Tests. There are further tests that may be helpful in combination with MCV and other red blood cell indices as well. Blood differential: A blood differential may give further clues as to anemia such as variations in cell size anisocytosis , cell shape poikilocytosis , or color polychromasia.
Other findings may include:. For example, with sideroblastic anemia, the MCV will be low but iron stores may be very high. Vitamin B12 level: Vitamin B12 levels can be used to diagnose deficiency in macrocytic anemias. Hemoglobin electrophoresis: HE can test for a beta-thalassemia trait not for alpha thalassemia. Bone marrow biopsy: A bone marrow biopsy may be helpful to look at the number and types of cells in the biopsy or to do an iron stain on the aspirate.
In recent years, the MCV test has been found to provide important information even when the red blood count is normal. A few examples include:. A study found that people with kidney disease who had a high MCV were more than twice as likely to die all causes of mortality and over 3.
Follow-up testing will depend on the results of the MCV test and other red blood cell indices and counts. The MCV test, especially when combined with other numbers on a CBC, can be helpful in both diagnosing anemia and planning treatment or predicting prognosis with other medical conditions. These small numbers on a CBC can easily be overlooked, and it's a good idea to be your own advocate and ask your doctor about any levels that are marked as abnormal. Sign up for our Health Tip of the Day newsletter, and receive daily tips that will help you live your healthiest life.
Maner BS, Moosavi L. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis. World Health Organization. McPherson R. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; Megaloblastic anemia and other causes of macrocytosis. Clin Med Res. Normocytic anemia. Am Fam Physician. Your Privacy Rights. To change or withdraw your consent choices for VerywellHealth.
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Purpose of MCV Test. Risks and Contraindications. Before the Test. During the Test. After the Test. Interpreting Results. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign Up. What are your concerns?