The Packed Cell Volume (PCV) test or Hematocrit is used to determine the proportion of blood that is made up of cells. It is employed to detect abnormalities in the count of red blood cells in the blood.
What Is Packed Cell Volume?
PCV is used to analyze blood which is made up of plasma and cells, of which red blood cells form a majority.
Red blood cells help in the transportation of oxygen throughout the body. PCV can be used to measure the percentage of red blood cells in comparison to plasma in a blood sample. PCV can indicate high or low levels of red blood cells, which may be a sign of certain diseases or conditions like anemia, polycythemia, and blood cancers.
PCV is advised for someone experiencing symptoms like general weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness, pale skin, and cold hands and feet over a prolonged period.
Why Is Packed Cell Volume Test Suggested?
PCV is advised when
- You have a family history of anemia.
- You have blood loss after surgery or other reasons.
- You experience dehydration.
- You display signs and symptoms which may be associated with anemia or polycythemia.
How Is Packed Cell Volume Test Performed?
A blood sample for PCV is extracted from the following locations:
- Vein of an arm.
- Heel-prick for newborns.
PCV may be performed as a part of full blood count, which is a general blood screening test.
What Are The Parameters Measured In Packed Cell Volume Test?
Hematocrit or PCV tests measure both the Mean Cell Volume (MCV) and the red blood cell count of the blood.
Preparation Before Performing Packed Cell Volume Test
Normally, no special preparations are necessary for a PCV test.
Post-Care After Packed Cell Volume Test
No post-care is needed for a PCV test.
Sample Types In Packed Cell Volume Test
Only small blood samples are needed for a PCV test.
Side Effects/Risks Of Packed Cell Volume Test
There are no risks associated with a PCV test.