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Mean Corpuscular Volume

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Overview Brief

Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) measures the average volume of a red blood cell. It is part of a complete blood count test to determine blood health.

What is Mean Corpuscular Volume?

Mean Corpuscular Volume is a diagnostic procedure that measures the average volume of a red blood corpuscle (cell) and is a criterion for diagnosing anemia.

Mean Corpuscular Volume {MCV), along with Mean Corpuscular Volume Concentration (MCHC) and Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH), makes up an index known as red blood cell indices [2]. A high MCV could indicate pernicious anemia, and a low MCV could indicate iron deficiency.

Mean Corpuscular Volume can also be used to calculate the Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW) for more specific results.

Why is Mean Corpuscular Volume suggested?

Mean Corpuscular Volume is suggested in the following instances:

  • As part of a routine blood test.
  • To detect the presence of anemia, thalassemia or other illnesses.
  • To test for iron deficiency.

How is Mean Corpuscular Volume performed?

Mean Corpuscular Volume is performed by a designated pathologist.

  • A blood sample is drawn from the patient’s arm.
  • The sample is taken to the laboratory for analysis.
  • MCH is derived by dividing the volume percentage of red blood cells by the number of red blood cells in that volume.

Other tests may be required along with Mean Corpuscular Volume for accurate diagnosis.

Parameters measured in Mean Corpuscular Volume

The following parameters are measured in Mean Corpuscular Volume

  • Average volume of red blood cells.

Preparations before performing Mean Corpuscular Volume

The following preparations will ensure that the Mean Corpuscular Volume happens safely.

  • Patients should inform pathologists if they suffer from hemophilia.

Post-care after Mean Corpuscular Volume

No specific post-care is needed after the Mean Corpuscular Volume.

Sample types in Mean Corpuscular Volume

The following samples are required for Mean Corpuscular Volume

  • Blood sample.

Side effects/risks of Mean Corpuscular Volume

The following risks may occur with Mean Corpuscular Volume

  • Minor risk of heavy bleeding when taking the blood sample.

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