What does MCV mean in a blood test?

MCV is the way it is abbreviated “medium corpuscular volume”. In the blood we can find three main types of cells: red blood cells or erythrocytes, white blood cells or leukocytes and platelets or thrombocytes. MCV is a test that is responsible for measuring red blood cells and determining what the average size is.

¿Why measure red blood cells? Well, if this class of cells presents some variation in their size, whether they are larger or smaller, they can be a clear sign that there is some condition in the blood, the most common is anemia. Erythrocytes are responsible for transporting oxygen to all organs and tissues of the body, if their size is not normal, the distribution of oxygen can be compromised.

For what reasons is this test performed?

In most cases, the VCM blood test is included within the a complete blood count. This type of analysis is requested by a doctor when the patient has symptoms such as tiredness, bruising on the skin, hands and feet that are colder than normal, unusual bleeding or pale skin.

For this analysis, the extraction of a blood sample is required, which does not require any type of previous preparation, you only have to go to the laboratory in a fasting state, that is, without having eaten or drunk anything for several hours.

What are normal levels of MCV?

The normal levels that should be obtained in the mean corpuscular volume examination vary by gender and age. In an adult man, the values ​​should be between 80 and 100 fl, for women the values ​​should be between 75 and 95 fl, while in the case of children the levels should range between 70 and 93 fl.

What do the MCV blood test results mean?

Once this test is done, the results can indicate several things, if the size is normal, everything is fine, but if the size is outside the normal parameters it can indicate some diseases described below:

  • When the red blood cells are smaller than usual it can usually mean that the patient suffers from some type of anemia. Like anemia due to lack of iron; the thalassemia, which is a very serious type of hereditary anemia or some anemia caused by some type of chronic inflammatory disease. Anemias of this type are called microcytic anemias.
  • When red blood cells are larger than usual, it could indicate that you are suffering from a health problem such as: lack of folic acid and B-complex vitamins, liver disease or hypothyroidism.

It is important to note that if your MCV exams are unusual, it is not necessarily very serious and you may not need complex medical treatment. In many cases it can be treated only by modifying the diet.

In addition, some medications or a woman’s normal menstrual cycles can cause results to be altered, but once the medication is stopped, or the menstrual cycle ends, the levels return to normal. However, it never hurts to consult your trusted doctor.

In summary

The mean corpuscular volume analysis is a blood test that is usually done in conjunction with a complete blood count, and measures the size of the red blood cells. When the size is below normal it may be indicating an anemia, and when it is larger it may be a health problem such as vitamin deficiency, hypothyroidism or some other.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *