Why the MCV Blood Test is Important

Have you ever had a MCV blood test? It is a basic tool doctors use for diagnosing people to determine whether they suffer form a particular ailment. If you’ve had a blood test done just recently, you might have come across some terms that you don’t understand, complex terms that the doctors use for measurement. Among these terms are the vital components of the blood, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, hemoglobin, platelets, MCH or the mean corpuscular hemoglobin, the MCHC or the mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, and finally, the MCV or the mean corpuscular volume. This particular discussion will talk about the MCV, one of the most important components of the blood test. If you’re wondering what it entails, continue reading to find out.

Why Take the Test

The mean corpuscular volume is a standard part of the CBC blood test. The MCV is used to measure the size or the volume of an individual red blood cell measured in femtoliters. Your MCV is calculated by taking your hematocrit and dividing it by your RCB count. Your hematocrit is the percentage of your blood volume that is occupied by red blood cells. A change in the MCV blood test can tell a person if he is suffering from any ailments or if a blood disorder is apparent. Sometimes, the body can already suffering from an ailment even without producing any symptoms. These kinds of ailments are called asymptomatic ailments, and a good way to determine if a person is undergoing any asymptomatic ailments is to check his MCV. If the person is not within the normal range in his MCV, then the doctor checks the person for any types of asymptomatic ailments.

Being Part of the CBC Blood Test

Complete Blood Count or CBC is a test doctors employ to their patients to figure out their general health status. The CBC examines different parts of the blood to arrive with a particular diagnosis. Among the components of the CBC count is the following:

The White Blood Cell Count: this test counts the number of WBCs present in the blood per a particular volume. An increase and decrease in the number of white blood cells are very important.

The Red Blood Cell Count: this test counts the number of RBCs present in the blood per a particular volume. As with the WBC test, a decrease and increase can be indicative of an abnormality. Red blood cells play a very important function in the body. Often called erythrocytes, RBCs are assigned to distribute oxygen from the lungs and to the different body parts. Oxygen is significant for almost all of our functions, and the lack of it could cause dire complications.

  • Hemoglobin Test: Hemoglobin is the substance in the blood that carries oxygen. Doctors test these to know how much hemoglobin is present in the blood.
  • Hematocrit Test: Hematocrit stands for the percentage of red blood cells in a blood per a particular volume.
  • Platelet Count: this test determines the number of platelets in your blood. An increase and decrease can signify abnormal conditions. The MPV or the mean platelet volume is the measurement of the size of your platelets. The MPV test shows the doctor how much your bone marrow produces platelets.
  • Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin: the MCH is the test that determines the average amount of hemoglobin inside an individual red blood cell. The Macrocytic RBC is an enlarged blood cell that has a higher degree of MCH, while a microcytic RBC is a small red blood cell that has a smaller degree of MCH.

What the MCV Blood Test Results Mean

With every person, the normal range for MCV is eighty to a hundred femtoliters. In instances where your MCV is higher than usual, that is, beyond a hundred femtoliters, what you have is macrocytic red blood cells. A high MCV means your RBCs are larger than normal, and it could mean that you are suffering from a one of a variety of ailments. Among these ailments are liver diseases, hypothyroidism, hereditary anemia, megaloblastic anemia, or reticulocytosis. MCV also reaches heights when a person takes a zidovudine treatment for AIDS or anticonvulsants as well.

On the other hand, when an MCV test reports that an MCV is lower than normal, it indicates that the person has microcytic blood cells, or small red blood cells. When an MCV is lower than normal, a variety of asymptomatic ailments also occur. Among these ailments are hypochlorhydria, copper and iron deficiency, vitamin C and B6 deficiency, rheumatoid arthritis, hemolytic anemia, and hereditary diseases such as sideroblastic and thalassemias. When a person is poisoned by lead or other toxic elements, MCV tends to be lower than normal as well.