Complete Blood Count (CBC)

The complete blood count (CBC) is one of the most frequently ordered blood tests. It is essential to know that blood consists of two major parts: plasma and cellular elements. The plasma is the part of the blood that is liquid, which allows the blood to flow smoothly. The other part of the blood consists of blood cells.

The blood cells are white blood cells (WBC)red blood cells (RBC), and platelets. Each of these types of cells carries out specific and vital functions.

The complete blood count test measures the quantity of all the different types of cells in the blood. It also provides some valuable information on other parameters related to each type of blood cell.

How does a complete blood count (CBC) test is made? Blood is collected by inserting a needle into a vein and allowing it to flow into a tube. Later the blood sample gets to the laboratory, and the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets get counted. The CBC is used to test for, diagnose, and monitor many different conditions.

The CBC test gets a lot of information from your blood sample:

  • White blood cells (WBCs) their number and their types. Your body has five kinds of white blood cells. All play a role in fighting infections. High numbers of WBCs, or a specific type of WBC, may mean you have an infection or inflammation somewhere in your body. Low numbers of WBCs may mean you are at risk for infections.
  • Numbers of the red blood cells (RBCs). RBCs carry oxygen throughout the body and remove excess carbon dioxide. Too few RBCs may be a sign of anemia or other diseases. In rare cases, too many may cause problems with blood flow.
  • The size of your red blood cells varies. This test is known as the red cell distribution width (RDW). For instance, you may have more significant differences in red blood cell size if you have anemia.
  • Hematocrit. The portion of red blood cells in a certain amount of whole blood. A low hematocrit may be a sign of too much bleeding. Or it might mean that you have iron deficiency or other disorders. A higher than average hematocrit occurs when one is dehydrated or by some other conditions.
  • Hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells. It carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of the body. Abnormalities can be a sign of problems ranging from anemia to lung disease.
  • Red blood cells average size. This test is known as the mean corpuscular volume (MCV). MCV goes up when your red blood cells are bigger than expected. It happens if you have anemia caused by low vitamin B12 or folate levels. If your red blood cells are smaller, this can mean other types of anemia, such as iron deficiency anemia.
  • A platelet count. Platelets are cell fragments that play a role in blood clotting. Too few platelets may mean you have a higher risk of bleeding. Too many may tell several possible conditions.
  • Mean corpuscular hemoglobin. This test measures how much hemoglobin your red blood cells have.



Haemoglobin (g/L)

Optimal range: 138 - 151 g/L

The hematocrit test checks for anemia, usually along with a hemoglobin test or as part of a complete blood count (CBC). This test can screen for, diagnose, or monitor many conditions and diseases that affect the blood's proportion made up of red blood cells (RBCs).



Optimal range: 11.1 - 15.9 g/dL

Hemoglobin (Hb) is the iron-containing oxygen transportation protein in red blood cells. It's rate of binding oxygen depends on the number oxygen molecules already bound. 



Mean Cell Volume

Optimal range: 75 - 95 fL/red cell

Mean cell volume indicates the average volume of red blood cells in the body. It is often measured as a part of the red blood cell indices in a comprehensive blood count test. The results of the red blood cell indices will tell a healthcare professional whether or not anemia is present and, if so, what type it is.


Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin (MCH)

Optimal range: 26.6 - 33 pg

Mean corpuscular (or cell) hemoglobin (abbreviated as MCH) is an estimate of the amount of hemoglobin in an average red blood cell. Hemoglobin is a substance in the blood that carries oxygen to the cells in the body from the lungs.


MCHC stands for mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration. MCHC is part of the red cell indices, together with MCH and MCV. Those parameters reflect the size and hemoglobin content of red cells. They have traditionally been used to aid in the differential diagnosis of anemia.


Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV)

Optimal range: 79 - 97 fl

Mean corpuscular volume indicates the average volume of red blood cells in the body. It is often measured as a part of the red blood cell indices in a comprehensive blood count test. The results of the red blood cell indices will tell a healthcare professional whether or not anemia is present and, if so, what type it is.


Mean Platelet Volume (MPV)

Optimal range: 7.5 - 11.5 fl

Mean platelet volume (MPV) is a calculation that indicates the average size of platelets in the blood. This measurement is typically done during a comprehensive blood count. An abnormal MPV is not, in it of itself, an indication of disease or disorder. MPV scores are compared against other types of blood counts to give a healthcare professional more information about a potential medical issue.


Platelet count / Platelets

Optimal range: 150 - 450 µl

Platelet count is a measure of how many platelets are present in the blood. Platelets are one of three types of blood cell, and their role is to aid in blood clotting. All three types of blood cell are assessed with a comprehensive blood count, which can be done as part of a general health check up or in response to specific symptoms.


Platelet Distribution Width (PDW)

Optimal range: 9.2 - 16.7 fl

This marker can give you additional information about your platelets and the cause of a high or low platelet count. Larger platelets are usually younger platelets that have been released earlier than normal from the bone marrow, while smaller platelets may be older and have been in circulation for a few days.


Platelet-large cell ratio (P-LCR)

Optimal range: 16 - 41.3 %

Platelet-large cell ratio (P-LCR) is defined as the percentage of platelets that exceed the normal value of platelet volume of 12 fL in the total platelet count.

Platelet size has been shown to reflect platelet activity; therefore MPV (=Mean Platelet Volume) and P-LCR are a simple and easy method of indirect assessment of platelet stimulation.


RDW-CV (Red Cell Distribution Width) in %

Optimal range: 11.7 - 15.4 %

Red blood cell distribution width (RDW) is a measure of the average size of the red blood cells. 


Red cell distribution width (abbreviated as RDW) is a measurement of the amount that red blood cells vary in size. Red blood cells help carry oxygen in the blood.


Red Blood Cells (Erythrocytes / RBC)

Optimal range: 3.77 - 5.28 cells/mcL

Red blood cells (RBCs) are the most plentiful type of cell in the blood (~40% to 45% of the body's blood supply). They carry oxygen to the tissues and organs. They also bring back carbon dioxide back to the lungs so that it can be removed (exhaled) from the body. Red blood cells get their color from the protein hemoglobin. RBCs are constantly being replenished and they have a lifespan of around 120 days. 


White blood cells (Leukocytes / WBC)

Optimal range: 3.4 - 10.8 x10E3/µL

White blood cells are the muscle of our body’s immune system. They serve to identify invasive microorganisms, isolate them, destroy them, and remember their weaknesses later. There are five types of white blood cells, and they’re all measured with a blood differential test. Typically, this test is ordered when a complete blood count comes back as abnormal.