A healthy result should fall into the range 80 - 96 fl.
Mean corpuscular volume (MCV), also called mean cell volume, is a measure of the average volume of a red blood cell. Red blood cells are important because they transport hemoglobin, which transports oxygen throughout the body. Assessment of red blood cells is typically done in a comprehensive blood count (CBC), which also measures features of white blood cells and platelets. The CBC is a very common test. A healthcare professional may run a CBC as a part of a routine health examination or when a person has signs and symptoms that may be related to disorders that affect blood cells, such as:
If someone has been diagnosed with a disease that is known to affect blood cells, a CBC will be ordered regularly to monitor the condition. Similarly, if someone is receiving treatment for a blood-related disorder, a CBC will be ordered regularly to determine if the treatment is effective. Further, some therapies (e.g., chemotherapy) can affect production of blood cells and some medications can decrease counts overall. In these cases, a CBC can be used to monitor these drug treatments.
Specifically, red blood cell indices (which include mean cell volume, hemoglobin count per red blood cell, and hemoglobin count relative to cell size) are used to diagnose the cause and severity of anemia, a condition characterized by too few red blood cells.
Classification of Anemia:
Type of anemia
Mean cell volume
MBV above normal
MBV below normal
A low MCV indicates that red blood cells are smaller than they should be. This can be caused by:
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Kidney failure
- Iron deficiency due to inadequate dietary intake
A high MCV indicates that RBCs are larger than normal. This can be due to:
- Anemia caused by vitamin B12 or folate deficiency
- Liver disease
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