mcv blood test

MCV stands for Mean Corpuscular Volume. This mcv blood test measures red blood cells (RBC) in the whole blood sample. Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) measures the average size of red cells in a whole blood sample. Red cell count is measured using a hemocytometer, a device consisting of two chambers separated by a membrane, through which only red cells can pass. In the upper chamber, a drop of blood is placed on a slide, and the number of red cells is counted under a microscope.

Causes of low MCV include

1. Iron deficiency: Low iron levels result in small RBCs with reduced hemoglobin content and lower MCV values.

2. Vitamin B12 or folate deficiency: Folate is needed to make DNA and RNA, which are necessary for cell division. A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause megaloblastic anemia, resulting in large, immature RBCs with high intracellular concentrations of heme. Heme is required for oxygen transport by binding to hemoglobin within the erythrocytes.

3. Thalassemia: A condition with too much globin production leading to more than adequate numbers of RBCs. These cells become enlarged as they contain excess hemoglobin.

4. Sickle Cell Anemia: Sickle-cell anemia occurs when a person has inherited two copies of abnormal genes from both parents. One gene causes sickling of the red blood cells, resulting in distortion of their shape and increased viscosity. When deformed, these cells do not pass through capillaries efficiently and clog them. As a result, the body cannot get enough oxygenated blood. Because oxygen must be carried inside each body cell, this problem leads to organ damage.

5. Other conditions: Some other disorders may also affect the size of the RBCs. For example, some forms of leukemia can produce abnormally shaped RBCs. In addition, certain infections can decrease the number of white blood cells available to destroy pathogens.

6. Medications: Certain medications can lead to changes in the size and morphology of the RBCs, such as those used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Drugs like penicillin, quinolones, cephalosporins, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, chloramphenicol, tetracycline, sulfasalazine, thalidomide, hydroxyurea, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, busulphan, dacarbazine, and cisplatin can affect the bone marrow and cause myelotoxicity.

 What is it used for?

MCV is most often measured to check if you have anemia. It’s essential because anemia people tend to feel tired and weak. Also, frail patients are at higher risk for infection. 

Why do I need an MCV blood test?

An MCV test helps your doctor determine whether you have anemia. Your doctor will want to know your MCV blood test before starting any treatment plan. You might have an MCV test done if you’re feeling unwell or having symptoms like fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, pale skin, easy bruising, frequent infections, or unexplained weight loss.

Do I need follow-up tests?

Once you have been diagnosed with anemia, your doctor will likely order additional testing to help find out why you have anemia and what kind of treatment you should receive. Depending on the reason for your anemia, your doctor might recommend one or more of the following tests:

Complete Blood Count (CBC): To detect abnormalities in the different types of blood cells. CBC measures the number of different kinds of blood cells present in your bloodstream. It’s usually ordered first to screen for cancer or disease. However, it may be ordered after an MCV test to see how well your health responds to treatment.

Reticulocyte count: To measure the level of immature reticulocytes in your blood. Your bone marrow produces reticulocytes during periods of rapid growth and development. If there are too few reticulocytes, your bone marrow isn’t producing sufficient new cells. This could mean that your immune system isn’t working correctly.

Iron studies: To evaluate iron levels in your blood. Low iron levels can make you feel sleepy and sluggish. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for men is 18 mg per day; women should take 14 mg per day 

Are there any risks to the test?

There is no risk of having an MCV blood test. But there is always a tiny chance of getting a false positive result when measuring RBC volume. A false-positive result means that your results indicate that you have anemia even though you don’t have anemia.

The accuracy of the MCV blood test depends upon several factors, including the type of instrument being used and the skill of the person doing the test. There are many ways to measure the volume of red blood cells. One way is to use a method called microhematocrit centrifugation, which involves spinning your blood sample through a tiny tube. Another standard method uses a technique known as impedance flow measurement.

Buy our CBC with differential kit today which is more like a e-mcv blood test. A complete blood count is used to evaluate your overall health and can assist medical professionals in the detection of a wide range of disorders, including anemia, infection, and some cancers. This CBC with differential kit will help you in evaluating your MCV levels.

Mcv Blood Test
at-home complete blood count by lab me

How to improve low MCV levels in blood?

If your MCV is less than 80 percent of the average value, you might be able to correct this problem yourself. Try eating foods rich in iron such as lean meat, liver, dried beans, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. These foods contain heme iron, which is easier to absorb than nonheme iron. Be sure to get plenty of vitamin C from fruits and vegetables daily. Vitamin C enhances the body’s absorption of iron. In addition, try taking a supplement containing folic acid, B6, and B12 vitamins. Talk to your doctor about other treatments that may work better for you.

Diseases MCV levels in the blood could Indicate

In some cases, high MCV blood test levels may be caused by polycythemia vera. Polycythemia vera causes the number of red blood cells to increase excessively. Your doctor will need to monitor your blood regularly to check if your red cell counts are increasing. If they are, your doctor may prescribe medication to treat your condition. Other possible conditions associated with high MCV blood test levels include:

Thalassemia minor: In thalassemia minor, there is an imbalance between the production of red blood cells and their destruction. Because these two processes occur slower than usual, the average size of red blood cells remains constant.

Sickle Cell Disease: Sickle cell disease occurs when people inherit a gene that makes hemoglobin S abnormal. Haemoglobin S deforms red blood cells into sickle cells. As more and more red blood cells become sickled, the amount of oxygen carried by the blood decreases. Because the oxygen transport function of the blood is impaired, symptoms like leg pain or shortness of breath may develop over time.

Myeloproliferative disorders: Myeloproliferatve diseases cause excess blood production. For example, myelofibrosis causes excessive numbers of blood cells to build up in the bones. Myeloid metaplasia causes excessive amounts of blood cells to form in organs outside the bone marrow.

Blood dyscrasias: Blood dyscrasias include cancerous diseases where blood cells are produced abnormally. Examples include leukemia (cancer of the blood) and lymphoma (cancer of the immune system).

Drugs: Some drugs can affect how well the kidneys filter waste products out of the bloodstream. This process is called glomerular filtration. The effect of certain drugs on this process may lead to increased concentrations of red blood cells in the urine.

Key Takeaways

To sum up, MCV blood test stands for Mean Corpuscular Volume. It measures the average size of all blood cells in a blood sample. A higher MCV blood test means more red blood cells. Low MCV values indicate fewer red blood cells in the blood. High MCVs indicate that there are more red blood cells present in the blood. The mcv levels could easily be detected in a CBC test. It is always better to consult your treating doctor and discuss the management plan if you finds your MCV levels higher or lower.

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