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Blood test results hct: Hematocrit Test: MedlinePlus Medical Test


Interpret blood test results | Ada

Blood test results explained

A blood test – sometimes referred to as a blood panel – is a laboratory examination of a blood sample used to check for a variety of things, including the functioning of certain organs (such as the liver, kidneys, thyroid and heart), infections and certain genetic disorders, as well as to assess an individual’s general health.

After the sample has been analyzed in the lab and the results compiled, a blood test report will in most cases be supplied to the testee. The report details the various components in the blood and at what level they are present. For those from non-medical backgrounds, the reports provided following blood tests can be complex and difficult to decipher.

Blood test abbreviations

Blood test results generally use the metric system of measurement and various abbreviations, including:

  • cmm: cells per cubic millimeter
  • fL (femtoliter): fraction of one-millionth of a liter
  • g/dL: grams per deciliter
  • IU/L: international units per liter
  • mEq/L: milliequivalent per liter
  • mg/dL: milligrams per deciliter
  • mL: milliliter
  • mmol/L: millimoles per liter
  • ng/mL: nanograms per milliliter
  • pg (picograms): one-trillionth of a gram

People worried about their health can also use the free Ada app to carry out a symptom assessment.

Blood test results components

A blood test is typically composed of three main tests: a complete blood count, a metabolic panel and a lipid panel. Each test for different things, which can be understood through a detailed analysis of the results.

Confusingly, it is likely that the results of the three tests will not be differentiated from each other and, instead, will be listed under one large column, often labelled “Test Name”. Within each are various sub-tests, which altogether give a broad picture of an individual’s health.

Complete blood count (CBC)

The complete blood count (CBC) concentrates on the three types of blood cells: white blood cells (WBCs), red blood cells (RBCs) and platelets. By measuring the volume of blood cells, the CBC allows a doctor to evaluate an individual’s overall health, as well as check for underlying conditions such as leukemia and anemia.

The subtests within the CBC are:

White blood cell (WBC) count

Also known as leukocytes, white blood cells are a major component of the body’s immune system. A high white blood cell count can indicate the presence of infection, while a low count can point towards various conditions, including HIV/AIDS and lupus.

Read more about a White Blood Cell Count »

Differential white blood cell count

The lab tests the five main components of white blood cells and their proportion to each other. If the components are out of balance, this could indicate an infection, as well as a variety of medical conditions. Healthy proportions for each are:

  • Neutrophils: 40 to 60 percent of the total
  • Lymphocytes: 20 to 40 percent
  • Monocytes: 2 to 8 percent
  • Eosinophiles: 1 to 4 percent
  • Basophils: 0.5 to 1 percent

Red blood cell (RBC) count

Red blood cells (RBCs) carry oxygen to tissues throughout the body, making them important to its healthy functioning. A red blood cell count estimates the volume of RBCs within an individual – if the results show a count above or below normal levels this can indicate various medical conditions to a doctor. However, this form of testing is unable to pinpoint the root causes of any irregularities, meaning, if this is the case, further tests will be necessary.

Hematocrit (Hct) test

Tests what proportion of the blood is made up of RBCs. It is useful in diagnosing anemia, among other medical conditions.

Hemoglobin (Hgb) test

Hemoglobin is a protein contained within red RBCs that sends oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues. The hemoglobin test is also useful in diagnosing anemia, with many practitioners preferring this test over the hematocrit test.

Read more about Hemoglobin and Hemoglobin Levels »

Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) test

The average volume of RBCs, or the space each red blood cell fills, is measured through this test. Results outside of the normal range can be a sign of anemia or chronic fatigue syndrome, among other medical conditions.

Mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) test

The lab tests the average amount of hemoglobin present in each red blood cell. High levels are a possible indicator of anemia and low levels a possible sign of malnutrition.

Red cell distribution width (RDW or RCDW) test

Tests the distribution of RBCs, not their actual size. Levels outside of the normal range can indicate conditions such as anemia, malnutrition and liver disease.

Platelet count

Platelets are small cells that help the blood to clot. This test measures the amount of platelets present in the blood. If testing highlights a high count, this can indicate anemia, cancer or infection, while a low count can prevent wounds from healing and result in severe bleeding.

Mean platelet volume (MPV)

Tests the volume of platelets in the blood. A low platelet volume can cause irregularities with bleeding, while a high platelet volume can increase an individual’s risk of heart attack or stroke.

The comprehensive metabolic panel test, also known as a chemistry panel, measures the body’s glucose levels, fluid and electrolyte balance, as well as liver and kidney function. It consists of a number of sub-tests:

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) test

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is an enzyme mostly produced by liver cells. High levels can be an indication of liver damage.

Albumin test

Albumin is a protein produced by the liver. Its volume within the organ can be measured via this test. Abnormal levels can be caused by liver or kidney problems.

Total protein test

The lab tests the ratio of two types of proteins: albumin and globulin. Low protein levels can indicate various conditions, including liver and kidney disorders and malnutrition, while high levels can be a sign of inflammation, infection or bone marrow disorder.

Alkaline phosphatase test

Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme typically produced in liver and bone cells. Results outside of the normal levels can signal liver damage and bone problems such as rickets or bone tumors.

Aspartate aminotransferase test

Aspartate aminotransferase is an enzyme usually found in RBCs and muscle tissue, as well as the heart, pancreas, liver and kidneys. This test measures the levels of this enzyme in the body, with results above the healthy range indicating a variety of conditions, including some types of cancer, as well as liver, heart or kidney damage.

Bilirubin test

The lab tests for kidney and liver dysfunction which is useful in diagnosing conditions such as neonatal jaundice, anemia and liver diseases.

Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test

This test measures the volume of nitrogen in the blood. High levels can be caused by kidney damage or disease, while low levels may be a sign of malnutrition or severe liver damage.

Calcium test

This test measures the levels of calcium in the blood. If testing indicates low levels, this can indicate cancer, hyperparathyroidism, tuberculosis and other conditions, while high levels can indicate conditions including malnutrition, rickets and hypoparathyroidism.

Chloride test

This test measures the body’s chloride levels. An increased level of chloride can indicate dehydration as well as kidney disorders and adrenal gland dysfunction.

Creatinine test

Creatinine is a chemical waste molecule that is important for creating muscle energy. Increased levels of creatinine can be a sign of kidney dysfunction.

Fasting blood sugar test

Blood sugar levels are easily affected by recent food or drink intake. The fasting blood sugar test is therefore done after a minimum of six hours of fasting. Abnormal results can indicate diabetes, among other medical conditions.

Phosphorus test

The lab tests the amount of phosphorus in the blood. Elevated levels can indicate problems with the kidneys and parathyroid glands, and they may be a sign of malnutrition or alcohol abuse.

Potassium test

Potassium aids the communication between nerves and muscles, regulates the heart and maintains muscle function. Diuretics (a substance or medication used to increase urination) can cause potassium levels to fall.

Sodium test

Sodium is a mineral that aids nerve impulses and muscle contractions, as well as balancing water levels. Irregularities are a possible indication of dehydration, adrenal gland disorders, corticosteroids, and kidney or liver disorders.

Lipid panel

The lipid panel consists of various tests used to measure the different types of triglycerides (fats) and cholesterol in the blood.

Total cholesterol test

This test measures the overall levels of LDL (bad) and HDL (good) cholesterol in the blood.

Triglycerides test

Tests for triglycerides, a fat found in the blood. Irregularities are a possible risk factor for heart disease and other medical conditions.

HDL cholesterol test

HDL cholesterol, also known as high-density lipoprotein (or good cholesterol), is useful in protecting against heart disease. Low levels can increase the risk of heart problems.

LDL cholesterol test

LDL cholesterol, also known as low-density lipoprotein (or bad cholesterol), is linked to heart disease and clogged arteries.

Total cholesterol to HDL ratio test

Calculating this ratio can help determine an individual’s risk of developing a heart disease. It is worked out by dividing HDL cholesterol into total cholesterol. High levels are a possible indicator of heart problems.

If you are concerned that you or a loved one is showing symptoms of high cholesterol, get a free symptom assessment with the Ada app.

MEDLAB Clinical Laboratory » Your CBC Test Results

A complete blood count (CBC)
Although a complete blood count can assist your physician in determining disease, it is not
typically a definitive diagnostic test. CBC results along with results of other blood tests, or
additional tests may be necessary.

A complete blood count (CBC) is a laboratory test which analyzes the number, size and shape of
blood cells in your body. These blood cells are made in bone marrow, the spongy tissue filling
the center of your bones. Bone marrow in the skull, sternum, ribs, vertebral column, and pelvis
produce these blood cells.

Each type of blood cell plays an important role in your body’s normal function. Values measured
by the CBC include red and white blood cell counts, hemoglobin concentration and platelet
counts. Experienced Medical Laboratory Technicians confirm the data from automated analyzers
helping your doctor detect blood diseases and abnormalities.

The data from these laboratory instruments tell us the following measurements:

White Blood cell (WBC) count
White blood cells fight infections from pathogens (disease). They are measured in thousands per
cubic milliliter (K/uL) of blood. A WBC of 3.8 K/uL is 3,800 cells.

Red Blood Cell (RBC) count
Red blood cells carry oxygen to and remove waste from the body’s tissues. These cells also
contain hemoglobin. Red blood cells are measured in millions per cubic millimeter (mil/uL) of

Hemoglobin (HGB) value
Hemoglobin is a protein which gives red blood cells their color. Hemoglobin carries oxygen
from the lungs to the tissues and takes carbon dioxide (the waste) from the tissues to the lungs.
From the lungs, carbon dioxide is exhaled. Hemoglobin is measured in grams per deciliter (g/dL)
of blood.

Hematocrit (HCT) value
The hematocrit is the percentage of red blood cells in relation to your total blood volume.

Platelet count
Platelets help to stop bleeding by forming blood clots. They are measured in thousands per cubic
millimeter (m/uL) of blood. A platelet count of 200 K/uL is 200,000 cells.

Normal ranges of these measurements:
Each measurement in a complete blood count has a normal range that will be noted on your CBC
test results:
• WBC: 3.3-8.7 K/uL
• RBC: 3.93-5.69 M/uL
• HGB: 12.6-16.1 g/dL
• HCT: 38-47.7%
• Platelets: 147-347 K/uL


What can these measurements tell me?
If you’re otherwise healthy and have no sign or symptom of illness, results slightly outside the
normal range on a complete blood count may not be cause for concern and follow-up may not be
needed. However, if you’re treating or managing a disease or illness, results of a complete blood
count outside the normal range may indicate a need to change your care plan.
What if my test results are abnormal?
In some cases, if your results are significantly above or below the normal ranges, your doctor
may refer you to a specialist.
Results in the following areas above or below the normal range on a CBC may indicate:

Red blood cell count, hemoglobin and
The results of your red blood cell
count, hemoglobin and hematocrit are related
because they each measure aspects of your red
blood cells

If the measures in these three areas are lower
than normal, you have anemia. Anemia causes
fatigue and weakness. Anemia has many
causes, including low levels of certain
vitamins or iron, blood loss, or an underlying
A red blood cell count that’s higher than normal (erythrocytosis), or high hemoglobin or hematocrit levels, could point to an underlying
medical condition, such as heart disease.

White blood cell count

A low white blood cell count (leukopenia) may be caused by a
medical condition, such as an autoimmune disorder that destroys
white blood cells, bone marrow problems or cancer. Certain medications also can cause white blood cell counts to drop.
If your white blood cell count is higher than normal, you may have an infection or inflammation.
Or, it could indicate that you have an immune system disorder or a bone marrow disease. A high
white blood cell count can also be a reaction to medication.

Platelet count

A platelet count which is lower than normal (thrombocytopenia) or higher than normal (thrombocytosis) is often a sign of an underlying medical condition or potentially a side effect from medication. If your platelet count is outside the normal range, you will likely need additional tests to find out the cause.

For more information and specifics about your complete blood count results or if they fall outside the normal range, talk to your physician.

Hematocrit | Northwestern Medicine

Does this test have other names?

HCT, packed cell volume, PCV

What is this test?

This test measures how much of your blood is made up of red blood cells.

Normal blood contains white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, and the fluid portion called plasma. The word hematocrit means to separate blood. In this test, your red blood cells are separated from the rest of your blood so they can be measured.

Your hematocrit (HCT) shows whether you have a normal amount of red blood cells, too many, or too few. To measure your HCT, your blood sample is spun at a high speed to separate the red blood cells.

Why do I need this test?

You may need this test if it is part of routine blood testing. You may also need your HCT checked before having surgery or if your healthcare provider suspects you have a red blood cell disorder. Too many red blood cells is called polycythemia. Too few red blood cells is called anemia.

Polycythemia may cause:

  • Heart attack

  • Stroke

  • Headache

  • Blurred vision

  • Itching

  • Dizziness

Anemia can be caused by blood loss, your body making fewer red blood cells, or increased destruction of red blood cells. Symptoms may include:

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fatigue

  • Dizziness

  • Headache

  • Cold, pale skin

  • Chest pain

What other tests might I have along with this test?

Your healthcare provider may also order a complete blood count (CBC), which is a blood test that counts all the different types of cells in your blood.

Your healthcare provider may also order a test that measures your hemoglobin to find out how much oxygen your red blood cells are carrying.

What do my test results mean?

Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you. 

Results are given as a percentage. Normal HCT values are different for men, women, and children. Normal values are:

If your HCT is high, it may mean your body is making too many red blood cells. Your HCT may also be high if your plasma or blood volume is too low. This can happen when you are dehydrated or in shock.

If your HCT is low, it means you may have:

How is this test done?

The test is done with a blood sample. A needle is used to draw blood from a vein in your arm or hand.  

Does this test pose any risks?

Having a blood test with a needle carries some risks. These include bleeding, infection, bruising, and feeling lightheaded. When the needle pricks your arm or hand, you may feel a slight sting or pain. Afterward, the site may be sore. 

What might affect my test results?

Living at a high altitude may cause your HCT to be higher than normal. Being pregnant or being older than age 60 can cause your HCT to be lower than normal.

Certain medicines can also affect your results.

How do I get ready for this test?

You don’t need to prepare for this test. Be sure your healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don’t need a prescription and any illegal drugs you may use.

Blood Test: Complete Blood Count (for Parents)

What Is a Blood Test?

A blood test is when a sample of blood is taken from the body to be tested in a lab. Doctors order blood tests to check things such as the levels of glucose, hemoglobin, or white blood cells. This can help them detect problems like a disease or medical condition. Sometimes, blood tests can help them see how well an organ (such as the liver or kidneys) is working.

What Is a Complete Blood Count?

A complete blood count (CBC) test is a blood test that helps doctors check the level of different types of cells in the blood. A CBC measures:

  • red blood cells, which deliver oxygen to the different parts of the body
  • white blood cells, which help fight infections
  • platelets, which help blood clot to stop bleeding

Why Are CBCs Done?

A CBC can be done as part of a routine checkup to screen for problems or because a child isn’t feeling well. The levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets can provide doctors with information about possible problems like anemia, infections, inflammation, and other conditions.

How Should We Prepare for a CBC?

Your child should be able to eat and drink normally unless also getting other tests that require fasting beforehand. Tell your doctor about any medicines your child takes because some drugs might affect the test results. Also let the doctor know if your child has had a blood transfusion or smokes. These can affect the CBC.

Wearing a T-shirt or short-sleeved shirt for the test can make things easier for your child, and you also can bring along a toy or book as a distraction.

How Is a CBC Done?

Most blood tests take a small amount of blood from a vein. To do that, a health professional will:

  • clean the skin
  • put an elastic band (tourniquet) above the area to get the veins to swell with blood
  • insert a needle into a vein (usually in the arm inside of the elbow or on the back of the hand) 
  • pull the blood sample into a vial or syringe
  • take off the elastic band and remove the needle from the vein

In babies, blood draws are sometimes done as a “heel stick collection. ” After cleaning the area, the health professional will prick your baby’s heel with a tiny needle (or lancet) to collect a small sample of blood.

Collecting a sample of blood is only temporarily uncomfortable and can feel like a quick pinprick.


Can I Stay With My Child During a CBC?

Parents usually can stay with their child during a blood test. Encourage your child to relax and stay still because tensing muscles can make it harder to draw blood. Your child might want to look away when the needle is inserted and the blood is collected. Help your child to relax by taking slow deep breaths or singing a favorite song.

How Long Does a CBC Take?

Most blood tests take just a few minutes. Occasionally, it can be hard to find a vein so the health professional may need to try more than once.

What Happens After a CBC?

The health professional will remove the elastic band and the needle and cover the area with cotton or a bandage to stop the bleeding. Afterward, there may be some mild bruising, which should go away in a few days.

When Are CBC Results Ready?

Blood samples are processed by a machine, and it may take a few hours to a day for the results to be available. If the test results show signs of a problem, the doctor might order other tests to figure out what the problem is and how to treat it.

Are There Any Risks From CBCs?

A CBC is a safe procedure with minimal risks. Some kids might feel faint or lightheaded from the test. A few kids and teens have a strong fear of needles. If your child is anxious, talk with the doctor before the test about ways to make the procedure easier.

A small bruise or mild soreness around the blood test site is common and can last for a few days. Get medical care for your child if the discomfort gets worse or lasts longer.

If you have questions about the CBC, speak with your doctor or the health professional doing the blood draw.

Complete Blood Count (CBC) | CS Mott Children’s Hospital

Test Overview

A complete blood count (CBC) gives important information about the kinds and numbers of cells in the blood, especially red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. A CBC helps your doctor check any symptoms that you may have, such as weakness, fatigue, or bruising. A CBC also helps him or her diagnose conditions, such as anemia, infection, and many other disorders.

A CBC test usually includes:

White blood cell (WBC, leukocyte) count.

White blood cells protect the body against infection. If an infection develops, white blood cells attack and destroy the bacteria, virus, or other organism causing it. White blood cells are bigger than red blood cells but fewer in number. When a person has a bacterial infection, the number of white cells rises very quickly. The number of white blood cells is sometimes used to find an infection or to see how the body is dealing with cancer treatment.

White blood cell types (WBC differential).

The major types of white blood cells are neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils. Immature neutrophils, called band neutrophils, are also part of this test. Each type of cell plays a different role in protecting the body. The numbers of each one of these types of white blood cells give important information about the immune system. Too many or too few of the different types of white blood cells can help find an infection, an allergic or toxic reaction to medicines or chemicals, and many conditions, such as leukemia.

Red blood cell (RBC) count.

Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. They also carry carbon dioxide back to the lungs so it can be exhaled. If the RBC count is low (anemia), the body may not be getting the oxygen it needs. If the count is too high (a condition called polycythemia), there’s a chance that the red blood cells will clump together and block tiny blood vessels (capillaries). This also makes it hard for your red blood cells to carry oxygen.

Hematocrit (HCT, packed cell volume, PCV).

This test measures the amount of space (volume) red blood cells take up in the blood. The value is given as a percentage of red blood cells in a volume of blood. For example, a hematocrit of 38 means that 38% of the blood’s volume is made of red blood cells. Hematocrit and hemoglobin values are the two major tests that show if anemia or polycythemia is present.

Hemoglobin (Hgb).

The hemoglobin molecule fills up the red blood cells. It carries oxygen and gives the blood cell its red color. The hemoglobin test measures the amount of hemoglobin in blood. It’s a good measure of how well the blood can carry oxygen throughout the body.

Red blood cell indices.

There are three red blood cell indices: mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC). They are measured by a machine, and their values come from other measurements in a CBC. The MCV shows the size of the red blood cells. The MCH value is the amount of hemoglobin in an average red blood cell. The MCHC measures the concentration of hemoglobin in an average red blood cell. These numbers help in the diagnosis of different types of anemia. Red cell distribution width (RDW) can also be measured. It shows if the cells are all the same or different sizes or shapes.

Platelet (thrombocyte) count.

Platelets (thrombocytes) are the smallest type of blood cell. They are important in blood clotting. When bleeding occurs, the platelets swell, clump together, and form a sticky plug that helps stop the bleeding. If there are too few platelets, uncontrolled bleeding may be a problem. If there are too many platelets, there is a chance of a blood clot forming in a blood vessel. Also, platelets may be involved in hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).

Mean platelet volume (MPV).

Mean platelet volume measures the average amount (volume) of platelets. MPV is used along with platelet count to diagnose some diseases. If the platelet count is normal, the MPV can still be too high or too low.

Why It Is Done

A CBC may be done as part of a regular physical exam. There are many other reasons that a doctor may want this blood test, including to:

  • Find the cause of symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, fever, bruising, or weight loss.
  • Check for anemia.
  • See how much blood has been lost if there is bleeding.
  • Diagnose polycythemia.
  • Check for an infection.
  • Diagnose diseases of the blood, such as leukemia.
  • Check how the body is dealing with some types of drug or radiation treatment.
  • Check how abnormal bleeding is affecting the blood cells and counts.
  • Screen for high and low values before a surgery.
  • See if there are too many or too few of certain types of cells. This may help find other conditions. For instance, too many eosinophils may be a sign of an allergy or asthma.

A blood count can give valuable information about the general state of your health.

How To Prepare

In general, there’s nothing you have to do before this test, unless your doctor tells you to.

How It Is Done

A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from the arm.


How It Feels

When a blood sample is taken, you may feel nothing at all from the needle. Or you might feel a quick sting or pinch.


There is very little chance of having a problem from this test. When a blood sample is taken, a small bruise may form at the site.



Each lab has a different range for what’s normal. Your lab report should show the range that your lab uses for each test. The normal range is just a guide. Your doctor will also look at your results based on your age, health, and other factors. A value that isn’t in the normal range may still be normal for you.

Normal values for the complete blood count (CBC) tests depend on age, sex, how high above sea level you live, and the type of blood sample. Your doctor may use all the CBC values to check for a condition. For example, the red blood cell (RBC) count, hemoglobin (Hgb), and hematocrit (HCT) are the most important values needed to tell whether a person has anemia. But the red blood cell indices and the blood smear also help with the diagnosis and may show a possible cause for the anemia.

To see if the white blood cell (WBC, leukocyte) count is good and how the cells look on the smear, your doctor will look at both the number (WBC count) and the WBC differential. To see whether there are too many or too few of a certain type of cell, your doctor will look at the total count and the percentage of that particular cell. There are normal values for the total number of each type of white cell.

Pregnancy can change these blood values. Your doctor will talk with you about normal values during each trimester of your pregnancy.

Blood smear results


Blood cells are normal in shape, size, color, and number.

High values

Red blood cells (RBC).
  • Conditions that cause high RBC values include smoking, exposure to carbon monoxide, long-term lung disease, kidney disease, some cancers, certain forms of heart disease, alcohol use disorder, liver disease, a rare disorder of the bone marrow (polycythemia vera), and a rare disorder of hemoglobin that binds oxygen tightly.
  • Conditions that affect the body’s water content can also cause high RBC values. These conditions include dehydration, diarrhea or vomiting, excessive sweating, and the use of diuretics. The lack of fluid in the body makes the RBC volume look high. This is sometimes called spurious polycythemia.
White blood cells (WBC, leukocytes).
  • Conditions that cause high WBC values include infection, inflammation, damage to body tissues (such as a heart attack), severe physical or emotional stress (such as a fever, injury, or surgery), kidney failure, lupus, tuberculosis (TB), rheumatoid arthritis, malnutrition, leukemia, and diseases such as cancer.
  • The use of corticosteroids, underactive adrenal glands, thyroid gland problems, certain medicines, and removal of the spleen can also cause high WBC values.
  • High platelet values may be seen with bleeding, iron deficiency, some diseases like cancer, or problems with the bone marrow.

Low values

Red blood cells (RBC).
  • Anemia lowers RBC values. Anemia can be caused by heavy menstrual bleeding, stomach ulcers, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, some tumors, Addison’s disease, thalassemia, lead poisoning, sickle cell disease, and reactions to some chemicals and medicines. A low RBC value may also be seen if the spleen has been taken out.
  • A lack of folic acid or vitamin B12 can also cause anemia, such as pernicious anemia. This is a problem with absorbing vitamin B12.
  • The RBC indices value and a blood smear may help find the cause of anemia.
White blood cells (WBC, leukocytes).
  • Low platelet values can occur in pregnancy or immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and other conditions that affect how platelets are made or that destroy platelets.
  • A large spleen can lower the platelet count.


Current as of:
September 23, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD – Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD – Family Medicine

Current as of: September 23, 2020

Healthwise Staff

Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD – Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD – Family Medicine

Hematocrit | Multimedia Encyclopedia | Health Information


Hematocrit is a blood test that measures how much of a person’s blood is made up of red blood cells. This measurement depends on
the number of and size of the red blood cells

How the Test is Performed

blood sample
is needed.

How to Prepare for the Test

No special preparation is necessary for this test.

How the Test will Feel

When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away.

Why the Test is Performed

The hematocrit is almost always done as part of a complete blood count (

Your health care provider may recommend this test if you have signs of or are at risk for anemia. These ionclude having:

  • Grumpiness or tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Problems concentrating
  • Poor nutrition
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Blood in your stools, or vomit (if you throw up)
  • Treatment for cancer
  • Leukemia or other problems in the bone marrow
  • Chronic medical problems, such as kidney disease or certain types of arthritis

Normal Results

Normal results vary, but in general they are:

  • Male: 40.7% to 50.3%
  • Female: 36.1% to 44.3%

For babies, normal results are:

  • Newborn: 45% to 61%
  • Infant: 32% to 42%

The examples above are common measurements for results of these tests. Normal value ranges vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Low hematocrit may be due to:

  • Anemia

  • Bleeding
  • Destruction of red blood cells
  • Leukemia
  • Malnutrition

  • Too little iron, folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6 in the diet
  • Too much water in the body

High hematocrit may be due to:

  • Congenital heart disease

  • Failure of the right side of the heart
  • Too little water in the body (

  • Low levels of oxygen in the blood
  • Scarring or thickening of the lungs
  • Bone marrow disease that causes abnormal increase in red blood cells


Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.

Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fainting or feeling lightheaded
  • Hematoma (blood buildup under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)


Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. H. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ.
Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures
. 6th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap H.

Kumar V, Abbas AK, Aster JC. Red blood cell and bleeding disorders. In: Kumar V, Abbas AK, Aster JC, eds.
Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease
. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 14.

Maheshwari A, Carlo WA. Blood disorders. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St Geme JW, Schor NF, eds.
Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics
. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2015:chap 103.

The Hematocrit Test – How and Why It Is Performed

Last update:

Introduction to the Hematocrit Test:

The hematocrit test determines the percentage of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells (RBCs). A normal hematocrit test result for males is about 45% (38-50%) of blood volume. For females, it is about 40% (35-44%) of blood volume.

The hematocrit test.

The test results are affected by RBC number, RBC size, and plasma volume. A low test result can be produced by a low number of RBCs, microcytosis (small RBCs), or an increased plasma volume. A high test result can be produced by a high number of RBCs (polycythemia), macrocytosis (enlarged RBCs), or a low plasma volume.

Test Procedures:

  1. First, a finger is lanced and a small drop of blood is allowed to accumulate.

Finger is lanced and blood accumulates.

  1. Blood is drawn up into a heparinized (anticoagulant) glass tube.

Learn faster and more efficiently with this beginner’s guide to histology. 

Blood being drawn up into a heparinized tube.

  1. One end of the blood-filled tube is sealed with clay.

Blood-filled tube being sealed with clay.

  1. The blood-filled tubes are placed in a centrifuge and spun until the plasma and formed elements separate.

Blood-filled tubes being spun in a centrifuge.

  1. The glass tube is moved across a reader board until the bottom of the RBC column is at 0% and the top of the plasma column is at 100%

The glass tube being moved across the reader board.

  1. The percentage of RBCs in the blood is determined by tracing the grid lines near the top of the red column to the % scale.

Determining the percentage of RBCs in the blood.

Test yourself:

Hematocrit Test Quiz

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Blood test decoding in adults and children: what does it mean, a table with norms for women and men, results and designations

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Blood test

A general blood test allows you to assess the general state of health, because if some pathology develops in the body, this will in any case affect the blood counts.

Delivery and decoding of a blood test is the first stage in the diagnosis of infections, inflammations and other diseases. Research is also carried out during the course of treatment to assess its effectiveness and the extent to which the prescribed drugs affect blood cells.

What determines a complete blood count?

The study allows you to obtain accurate data on the quantity and quality of blood cells: leukocytes, erythrocytes and platelets. If these parameters are higher or lower than normal, this indicates the presence of pathological conditions.They can be symptoms of bacterial and viral infections, inflammation and other ailments.

Decoding blood test

The collected blood is analyzed in modern laboratories using automatic equipment. The results of the blood test are issued in the form of a printout, where the main indicators and the corresponding values ​​are indicated.

The blood test is interpreted by the attending physician, but you can estimate some parameters yourself:

  • Hemoglobin (HGB).The norm for men is 130-160 g / l, for women – 120-140 g / l;
  • Leukocytes (WBC). Rate – (4.0-9.0) x 10 9 / l;
  • Red blood cells (RBC). The rate for men (4.0-5.1) x 10 12 / l, for women – (3.7-4.7) x 10 12 / l;
  • Platelets (PLT). Norm (180-320) x 10 9 / l.
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR).The norm for men is 2-10 mm / h, for women – 2-15 mm / h.

Where can I get a blood test?

You can make a blood test with a detailed explanation and get it quickly at the Unimed multidisciplinary clinic in Izhevsk. To consult and ask questions, call one of the phones listed in the “Contacts” section. The administrator will guide you on prices and appoint a time to visit.

Analysis of blood in cats, dogs, pets

RBC non-nuclear blood cells containing hemoglobin. bronchopulmonary pathologies, heart defects, hypoxia, hydronephrosis and polycystic kidney disease, neoplasm, hormone intake. anemia (iron deficiency, hemolytic, B12-deficiency, acute hemorrhage, late pregnancy, chronic inflammatory processes.
HCT ratio of erythrocyte and plasma volumes. fluid loss, primary and secondary erythrocytosis. anemia, heart and renal failure, chronic inflammation, starvation, neoplasm.
HGB blood pigment (complex protein) contained in erythrocytes, the main function is to carry blood gases primary and secondary erythrocytosis, dehydration. anemia (iron deficiency, hemolytic, B12 folate deficiency), acute blood loss, latent bleeding, bone marrow lesions, neoplasm, metastasis.
MCV provides data on the size of red blood cells anemia (B12 folate deficiency), liver disease. Iron deficiency anemia
MCH indicator that determines the saturation of erythrocytes with hemoglobin hyperchromic anemia iron deficiency anemia, hypochromic anemias
MCHC reflects the degree of saturation of the erythrocyte with hemoglobin anemia, neoplasm, impaired water-salt balance, intoxication, pregnancy, infection. Iron deficiency anemia
RDW determines the size of red blood cells in the blood deficiency of vitamin B12 or / and folic acid. anemia, viral infections, liver diseases (cirrhosis, hepatitis).
RETIC immature erythrocytes with no nucleus. blood loss, hemolysis, lack of oxygen anemia (B12-folate deficiency), inhibition of erythropoiesis.
WBC blood cells, the main function of which is to protect the body from foreign agents bacterial infections, inflammation and tissue necrosis, neoplasms, allergies, hormone intake. viral and bacterial infections, metastasis, hypersplenism, anaphylactic shock, taking sulfonamides and anticonvulsants.
NEU granulocytic leukocytes, the main function is to protect the body from infections. bacterial infections, inflammation or tissue necrosis, neoplasm, leukemia, intoxication, hormone and antihistamine intake viral infections, infections caused by protozoa, metastasis, neoplasm, anaphylactic shock, the use of sulfanilomides
LYM main function – antigen recognition and participation in an adequate immune response of the body viral infections, blood diseases, use of NSAIDs. use of hormones, immunosuppressants, neoplasm, immunodeficiency states, chronic liver diseases.
MONO removes dying cells from the body, denatured protein, bacteria, antigen-antibody complexes infections, the presence of blood parasites, tissue inflammation, previous surgical interventions use of hormones
EOS cells phagocytic antigen-antibody complex Allergies, parasitic diseases, drug intolerance stress, trauma
BASO cells involved in GST, HRT (allergic reactions). allergic reactions, chronic inflammatory processes, blood diseases stress, acute infections.
PLT non-nuclear cells, involved in primary hemostasis (blockage of damaged areas in the vessel) chronic inflammatory diseases, neoplasms, bleeding, anemia, postoperative recovery, hormone intake. bone marrow lesions, infections, the use of antihistamines and antibiotics, heparin and diuretics.
MPV mean value of measured platelet volume anemia. anemia, internal bleeding, pregnancy, inflammatory processes, neoplasms, the use of muscle relaxants.
PCT is the volume of whole blood taken up by platelets. iron deficiency, viral infections, inflammatory processes, increased thyroid function, atherosclerotic process, diabetes mellitus. anemia, chronic kidney and liver diseases.

Interpretation of analyzes in cats and dogs

General analysis of blood – gives an idea of ​​the formed elements (blood cells), their relationship with the liquid part of the blood, plasma (hematocrit) and hemoglobin content.

Blood consists of cells (formed elements) and a liquid part (plasma). Form elements – erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets – are formed and mature in the bone marrow and must enter the systemic circulation as needed.Deciphering a general blood test involves the calculation of uniform elements and the calculation of some indirect indicators. So, the ratio of the volume of formed elements to plasma is called hematocrit.

A general blood test is used for a general assessment of health status, diagnosis of anemia, infections and other diseases.

After receiving a blood test from a cat or dog, the pet owner often has a question, what do the final figures and indicators mean, how to decipher and interpret them? We have collected for you basic information on the indicators of the general blood test (CBC), which give an idea of ​​the corpuscles (blood cells), their ratio with the liquid part of the blood, plasma (hematocrit) and hemoglobin content.

Leukocytes – (WBC) – blood cells that protect the body from pathological agents. Deciphering the general blood test in animals: the norm in dogs is 6.0–17.0 × 10 9 cells / l, in cats – 5.5–19.5 × 10 9 cells / l.

Diagnostic value in case of a deviation from the norm: An increase or decrease may be important in the diagnosis of infections or, for example, diseases of the bone marrow.

Platelets (PLT) are blood elements responsible for blood clotting.Their increase can mean the presence of malignant tumors, viral or bacterial infections. Sometimes this is observed after operations or with exacerbation of chronic diseases. The number of red blood cells decreases due to tumor lesions, hepatitis, adenoviruses, autoimmune diseases and other ailments. The platelet count in dogs is 160 – 550 × 10 9 cells / l, in cats – 160 – 630 cells / l.

Diagnostic value in case of deviation from the norm: detection of blood coagulation disorders, dehydration (dehydration), or bone marrow diseases.

Erythrocytes (RBC) are red blood cells that contain hemoglobin. Their main purpose is to carry oxygen throughout the body. An increase in their number may indicate diseases of the blood or lungs, heart defects or problems with the adrenal glands. In addition, their number increases with vomiting and diarrhea. A low red blood cell count means a deficiency in iron, vitamin B12, or folate. It is also considered a symptom of blood loss and hemolysis. The norm of erythrocytes in dogs is 5.5 – 8.5 × 10 12 cells / l, in cats – 5.0 – 1.0 × 10 12 cells / l.

Diagnostic value in case of deviation from the norm: indicates the diagnosis of anemia.

Hemoglobin (HGB) is a red blood pigment that contains iron, which is necessary for the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide through the blood. An increase in hemoglobin indicates heart disease, pulmonary fibrosis, intestinal obstruction, or the presence of tumors. Also, an increase in hemoglobin is observed in many working dog breeds – due to the large amount of physical activity.A decrease in hemoglobin indicates blood loss, autoimmune or infectious diseases, the presence of worms, blood disorders, and poor absorption of vitamin B12 or iron. The norm of hemoglobin in dogs is 12-18 g / dl, in cats – 8-15 g / dl.

Diagnostic value in case of deviation from the norm: o Assessment of the severity of anemia or polycythemia and to monitor the effectiveness of therapy for these conditions.

Hematocrit (NBT) – the ratio of the volume of plasma and erythrocytes.An increase in this indicator can mean leukemia, hypoxia, polycystic disease, neoplasms of the kidneys or their hydronephrosis, peritonitis, burn disease and other ailments. A decrease is observed during pregnancy, anemia, or overhydration. The norm of hematocrit in dogs is 37 – 55%, in cats – 25 – 45%.

Diagnostic value in case of deviation from the norm: complex assessment of anemia and polycythemia, for making a decision on blood transfusion and evaluating the results of this procedure.

Average erythrocyte volume (MCV) is an indicator that reflects the size of red blood cells.It is informative for the differential diagnosis of various types of anemia. In B12-deficiency anemia, the size of red blood cells increases; in iron deficiency anemia, it decreases.

Average content of hemoglobin in a red blood cell (MCH) – an indicator reflecting how much hemoglobin is on average contained in one red blood cell. With B12-deficiency anemia, the amount of hemoglobin in the enlarged erythrocytes is increased, and with iron deficiency anemia, it is reduced. The mean concentration of hemoglobin in the erythrocyte (MCHC) reflects the saturation of the erythrocyte with hemoglobin.It is a more sensitive parameter for detecting violations of hemoglobin formation than MCH, since it does not depend on the average volume of red blood cells.

Distribution of red blood cells by volume (RDW) – an indicator that determines the degree of difference in size of red blood cells. It is important in the diagnosis of anemia.

Average platelet volume (MPV) is a characteristic of platelets, which may indirectly indicate their increased activity or the presence of an excessive number of young platelets.

How to properly prepare for the test?

  • Compliance with a 12-hour fasting diet. UNLIMITED WATER!
  • If you have a puppy or a kitten, as well as if the pet cannot withstand prolonged fasting (for example, with diabetes mellitus), then 6 hours of hunger is enough.
  • Limit physical activity for 24 hours.
  • Avoid stressful situations
  • If necessary (after consulting a doctor), sedate before travel.
  • If the animal is taking any medication, tell the doctor.

Complete blood count is a basic study that can tell a lot about the health of your pet.

It was recommended that the animal be examined by a veterinarian in a timely manner and undergo the prescribed examinations.

Veterinary clinic “WellVet”

Veterinary clinic “WellVet”
2021-06-16 11:49:57
2021-06-16 11:49:57

90,000 Explanation of the general blood test.Clinical blood test

Complete blood count is perhaps the most common test that doctors prescribe to correctly diagnose and conduct a study of the patient’s health status. But what comes in the answer does not tell the patient anything, in order to understand what all these numbers mean, we provide you with decoding of blood test values ​​.

The general blood test is divided into:

  • Blood chemistry;
  • Immunological blood test;
  • Hormonal blood test;
  • Serological blood tests.

Blood test decoding:

Normal Values ​​- CBC
children aged adults
1 day 1 month 6 months 12 months 1-6 years old 7-12 years old 13-15 years male female
Hb, g / l
180-240 115-175 110-140 110-135 110-140 110-145 115-150 130-160 120-140
4.3-7.6 3.8-5.6 3.5-4.8 3.6-4.9 3.5-4.5 3.5-4.7 3.6-5.1 4-5.1 3.7-4.7
Color index
0.85-1.15 0.85-1.15 0.85-1.15 0.85-1.15 0.85-1.15 0.85-1.15 0.85-1.15 0.85-1.15 0.85-1.15
3-51 3-15 3-15 3-15 3-12 3-12 2-11 0.2-1.2 0.2-1.2
180-490 180-400 180-400 180-400 160-390 160-380 160-360 180-320 180-320
2-4 4-8 4-10 4-12 4-12 4-12 4-15 1-10 2-15
8.5-24.5 6.5-13.8 5.5-12.5 6-12 5-12 4.5-10 4.3-9.5 4-9 4-9
Stab,% 1-17 0.5-4 0.5-4 0.5-4 0.5-5 0.5-5 0.5-6 1-6 1-6
Segment core,% 45-80 15-45 15-45 15-45 25-60 35-65 40-65 47-72 47-72
0.5-6 0.5-7 0.5-7 0.5-7 0.5-7 0.5-7 0.5-6 0-5 0-5
0-1 0-1 0-1 0-1 0-1 0-1 0-1 0-1 0-1
12-36 40-76 42-74 38-72 26-60 24-54 25-50 18-40 18-40
2-12 2-12 2-12 2-12 2-10 2-10 2-10 2-9 2-9

Now more about the main indicators of the general blood test.


Hemoglobin is the blood pigment of red blood cells. Its function is to carry oxygen from the lungs to tissues and organs, and carbon dioxide back to the lungs.

Increase in hemoglobin:

  • stay at high altitudes
  • polycythemia (increase in the number of red blood cells)
  • dehydration and blood thickening
  • high physical activity

Decrease in hemoglobin:

Color index

The color indicator shows the relative content of hemoglobin in erythrocytes.This indicator is important in the diagnosis of anemia.

Color Index Boost:

Decrease in color index:

  • iron deficiency anemia


Red blood cells are red blood cells that form in the red bone marrow. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin and carry oxygen.

Increase in erythrocytes:

  • dehydration
  • polycythemia

Reduction of erythrocytes:


White blood cells.Formed in the red bone marrow. The function of leukocytes is to protect the body from foreign substances and microbes. In other words, it is immunity.

There are different types of leukocytes, therefore, a change in the number of individual types, and not all leukocytes in general, is of diagnostic value.

Increase in leukocytes:

  • infections, inflammation
  • allergy
  • leukemia
  • condition after acute bleeding, hemolysis

Decrease in leukocytes:

  • bone marrow pathology
  • infections (flu, rubella, measles, etc.)etc.)
  • genetic anomalies of immunity
  • increased spleen function

Leukocyte formula

The percentage of different types of leukocytes. Neutrophils: cells responsible for inflammation, fighting infection (except viral), nonspecific defense (immunity), removing their own dead cells. Mature neutrophils have a segmented nucleus, while young neutrophils have a rod-shaped nucleus.

Increased leukocyte count:

  • intoxication
  • infection
  • inflammatory process
  • malignant tumors
  • psycho-emotional arousal

Decrease in leukocyte count:

  • aplastic anemia, bone marrow pathology
  • genetic disorders of immunity
  • some infections (viral, chronic)


Eosinophils take part in the fight against parasitic invasions and allergies.

Increased eosinophils:

  • malignant tumors
  • allergic conditions
  • myeloid leukemia
  • parasitic invasions

Reduction of eosinophils:

  • childbirth
  • purulent infections
  • shock
  • surgical intervention


Leaving the tissues, basophils turn into mast cells, which are responsible for the release of histamine – a hypersensitivity reaction to food, drugs, etc.

Increase in basophils:

  • chickenpox
  • hypersensitivity reactions
  • chronic sinusitis
  • hypothyroidism

Decrease in basophils:

  • pregnancy
  • ovulation
  • acute infections
  • hyperthyroidism
  • stress


Lymphocytes are the main cells of the human body’s immune system.They fight viral infections, destroy foreign cells and altered own cells, release antibodies (immunoglobulins) into the blood – substances that block antigen molecules and remove them from the body.

Increase in lymphocytes:

  • lymphocytic leukemia
  • viral infections

Decrease in lymphocytes:

  • lymph loss
  • aplastic anemia
  • acute infections (non-viral) and diseases
  • immunodeficiency states
  • systemic lupus erythematosus


Monocytes are the largest white blood cells.Finally, they destroy foreign cells and proteins, foci of inflammation, destroyed tissues. Monocytes are the most important cells of the immune system, it is monocytes that are the first to meet the antigen, and present it to lymphocytes for the development of a full-fledged immune response.

Increase in monocytes:

  • leukemia
  • tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, syphilis
  • infections (viral, fungal, protozoal)
  • systemic connective tissue diseases (arthritis, periarteritis nodosa, systemic lupus erythematosus)

Decrease in monocytes:

  • hairy cell leukemia
  • aplastic anemia


ESR is the rate of erythrocyte sedimentation during blood sedimentation.The ESR level depends directly on the number of erythrocytes, their “weight” and shape, as well as on the properties of blood plasma – the amount of proteins, as well as viscosity.

ESR increase:

  • inflammatory process
  • infection
  • anemia
  • malignant tumors
  • pregnancy


Reticulocytes are young forms of red blood cells. Normally, they should be in the bone marrow.Their excess blood output indicates an increased rate of erythrocyte formation.

Increase in reticulocytes:

  • increased formation of red blood cells in anemia (with blood loss, iron deficiency, hemolytic)

Reduction of reticulocytes:

  • kidney disease
  • disorders of erythrocyte maturation (B12-folate-deficiency anemia)
  • aplastic anemia


Platelets are platelets made from giant cells in the bone marrow.Platelets are responsible for blood clotting.

Increase in platelets:

  • inflammatory process
  • myeloid leukemia
  • polycythemia
  • condition after surgery

Reduction of platelets:

  • aplastic anemia
  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • thrombocytopenic purpura
  • hemolytic disease, isoimmunization by blood group, Rh factor
  • hemolytic anemia

However, it is worth remembering that only a doctor can correctly diagnose and interpret the analyzes.All of the above is only for orientation, but not for self-diagnosis.

To interpret your analyzes, please see your doctor!

If you are really looking for your doctor …

Clinical Laboratory Diagnostic Doctor

Complete blood count: interpretation of results and norm

14 November 2018

One of the types of laboratory diagnostics is a complete blood count.It allows you to identify a large number of pathologies, such as malignant tumors, infectious, inflammatory diseases, etc. It can also be used to assess the effectiveness of the patient’s treatment. After all, a general blood test can tell a lot about the state of the body.

Only specialized doctors can correctly decipher a general blood test. Therefore, without appropriate medical knowledge, you should not even try to do it yourself. But it will not be superfluous to know by what indicators the blood is analyzed, as well as the norms of the research result.You will find this information in our article.

How to decipher the results of a general blood test?

We bring to your attention two tables below. In the first of them, the norms of the result of a general blood test are indicated, in the second – the leukocyte formula. Let’s take a closer look at what is displayed in these two tables.

Table 1

Indicator Designation For men For women
Erythrocytes (x 1012 / L) RBC 4-5.1 3.7-4, 7
Average erythrocyte volume (fl or μm3) MCV 80-94 81-99
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (mm / h) ESR 2-15 2- 10
Erythrocyte anisocytosis (%) RDW 11.5-14.5 11.5-14.5
Hemoglobin (g / l) HGB 130-160 120-140
Average hemoglobin level in erythrocyte (pg) MCH 27-31 27-31
Average erythrocyte hemoglobin concentration (%) MCHC 33-37 33-37
Color Index CPU 0.9-1.1 0.9-1.1
Hematocrit (%) HCT 40-48 36-42
Platelets (x 109 / L) PLT 180-320 180-320
Average platelet volume (fl or μm3) MPV 7-11 7-11
Reticulocytes (%) RET 0.5-1.2 0.5-1.2
Leukocytes (x 109 / L) WBC 4-9 4-9

Table 2


Indicator x 109 / L %
Rod neutrophils 0.04-0.3 1-6
Segmented neutrophils 45 -72
Basophils up to 0.065 up to 1
Eosinophils 0.02-0.3 0.5-5
Lymphocytes 1.2-3 19-37
Monocytes 0.09-0.6 3-11

The results of a general blood test (Table 1) show many indicators.Let’s consider the main ones:

  • RBC – the total number of red blood cells (erythrocytes). The pathological increase in these cells is associated with a violation of hematopoiesis. A decrease in red blood cells, as a rule, is a consequence of anemia, hemolysis and blood loss.
  • HGB – Hemoglobin, which is a protein that contains iron. It transports oxygen to tissues, and carbon dioxide from them, and also maintains acid-base balance. A decrease in hemoglobin is most often due to anemia.
  • HCT – hematocrit. It is defined as the ratio between the red blood cells that have settled to the bottom after taking the test and the total blood volume. An increase in this indicator indicates polyuria, erythrocytosis or erythremia. A decrease in the level of hematocrit occurs with anemia and an increase in the volume of circulating blood.
  • PLT – platelets. These cells are responsible for blood clotting. If their number decreases, then the cause may be viral diseases, bone marrow lesions, bacterial infections and other pathologies.The increase in the number of platelets is caused by a wide variety of ailments: from joint diseases to cancerous tumors.
  • CPU – color index. It determines the saturation of erythrocytes with hemoglobin. If it is insufficient, then this may indicate iron deficiency anemia, anemia, or lead poisoning. When the CPU rises above normal, the cause is oncology, gastric polyposis and a deficiency of vitamins B9 and B12.
  • Erythrocyte indices:
    • MCV – the average volume of erythrocytes, used to determine the water-salt balance and the type of anemia;
    • RDW – the degree of diversity of erythrocytes, which determines how cells differ from each other in volume;
    • MCH – the average content of hemoglobin in the erythrocyte; this criterion is considered an analogue of the color indicator;
    • MCHC – average concentration and content of hemoglobin in red blood cells; this indicator is calculated taking into account the level of hematocrit and hemoglobin.
  • ESR – erythrocyte sedimentation rate. This indicator allows you to determine a wide variety of pathologies. In large quantities, it is observed in cancer, infectious pathologies, inflammatory processes, etc. A decrease in the erythrocyte sedimentation rate is often the result of circulatory disorders, the appearance of anaphylactic shock and the development of cardiovascular diseases.

Now let’s move on to the leukocyte formula (Table 2).It determines the percentage of different types of white blood cells in the blood, that is, the relative content of each type of white cells. What is this formula for? It is very important, because with any changes in the body, the percentage of certain types of white cells in the blood decreases or increases. It is associated with declines or increases in other types. According to the information obtained as a result of the leukocyte formula, one can judge the course of a particular pathology, the appearance of complications, and also more accurately predict the outcome of the disease.

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Complete blood count in cats, dogs and other domestic animals

Knowledge base

18 October 2016



  1. General blood test decoding

The diagnostic value of analyzes in veterinary medicine is very high.The animal cannot say what exactly it hurts, therefore, analyzes are important for the doctor to form a complete picture of the disease.

First of all, you need to pass general clinical and biochemical blood tests . These studies will show the general condition of the body and organs of the animal.

The body is always exposed to various environmental factors and gives a specific response to stimuli. Each blood cell performs its own functions to protect the body.With an increase or decrease in the number of certain cells, we can talk about a possible cause of the disease.

General clinical blood test can show the degree of development of the inflammatory process, whether there is anemia, dehydration, and whether there are neoplasms in the blood system or not. Also, one should not forget about latent (chronic) infectious, invasive or any other processes of a non-infectious nature in the body, which can also be detected in the study of blood as one of the diagnostic methods.

A general blood test does not require any special preparation, however, in rare cases, the doctor may ask you to take an analysis on an empty stomach. The sample itself is taken from the peripheral veins.

In our veterinary clinic, a complete blood count is performed on an automatic analyzer Exigo EOS (VET).

It will take only 10 minutes from the blood collection to the readiness of the result!

Decoding of the general blood test

According to the general analysis, the main blood parameters are determined, the decoding of which is carried out by the doctor.In your personal account (on our website), the analysis result will be published in the form of a schematic table containing the values ​​of blood parameters and the reference range.

Let’s look at these indicators and their normal values. It should be borne in mind that deviations from the norm do not necessarily indicate pathology – many of them can be explained by various factors.

Red blood cells (RBC) – “red blood cells” containing hemoglobin. The main function is to deliver oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body and carbon dioxide from the tissues to the respiratory organs.

Increase (erythrocytosis) – blood diseases (primary erythrocytosis, polycythemia), hypoxia in lung diseases and congenital heart defects, dehydration (vomiting, diarrhea), adrenal cortex insufficiency.

Decrease (anemia) – blood loss, hemolysis, deficiency of iron, vitamin B12, folic acid.

Normal value, × 10 12 cells / l:

  • dog: 5.5–8.5;
  • cat: 5.0-11.0.

Hemoglobin (HGB) is a red iron-containing blood pigment that carries out the function of transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide, regulating the acid-base state.

Increase – congenital heart defects, pulmonary fibrosis, intestinal obstruction, cancer. It is also typical for “working” dog breeds: with constant increased physical exertion, the need for oxygen increases and, accordingly, the level of hemoglobin rises.

Decrease – blood loss, infectious and autoimmune diseases, helminth infections, pregnancy and lactation, impaired absorption of iron and vitamin B12, malignant blood diseases, chemotherapy.

Normal value, g / dl:

  • dog: 12-18;
  • cat: 8-15.

Hematocrit (HCT) – volume fraction of erythrocytes in whole blood (ratio of erythrocyte and plasma volumes).

Increase – hypoxia, neoplasms of the kidneys with increased erythropotin, polycystic and hydronephrosis of the kidneys, a decrease in the volume of circulating blood (burn disease, peritonitis, etc.), leukemia.

Decrease – anemia, pregnancy, overhydration.

Normal value,%:

  • dog: 37–55;
  • cat: 25–45.

Erythrocyte indices:

Mean erythrocyte volume (MCV) – an indicator characterizing the type of anemia.

Normal value, fl:

  • dog: 60–72;
  • cat: 39-50.

Average concentration of hemoglobin in erythrocytes (MCHC) – an indicator that determines the saturation of erythrocytes with hemoglobin.

Normal value, g / dl:

  • dog: 32–38.5;
  • cat: 31–38.5.

Average hemoglobin content in erythrocyte (MCH) is one of the indicators for determining the type of anemia.

Normal value, pg:

  • dog: 19.5–25.5;
  • cat: 12.5-17.5.

Red blood cell distribution width (RDW) – an indicator indicating how much red blood cells differ in size.

Normal value,%:

  • dog: 12-17.5;
  • cat: 14.0-18.5.

Platelets (PLT) are blood cells involved in the process of blood clotting.

Increase – exacerbation of chronic diseases, viral or bacterial infections, diseases of the blood or hematopoiesis, conditions after surgical procedures, malignant tumors, consequences of the use of certain groups of drugs.

Decrease – idiopathic hypoplasia of hematopoiesis, tumor lesions (acute blood leukemia, cancer metastases, sarcoma, osteomyelosclerosis, myelofibrosis), intoxication, viral infections (hepatitis, adenoviruses), autoimmune diseases.

Normal value, × 10 9 cells / l:

  • dog: 160-550;
  • cat: 160-630.

The analyzer can also calculate the average platelet volume ( MPV ).

Leukocytes (WBC) – “white blood cells” with a nucleus. The main function is to protect the body from various pathological agents, as well as from internal typical pathological processes, accompanied by powerful inflammation.

They are divided into two fractions: granulocytes, or cells with granularity in the nucleus (neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils), and agranulocytes with a monochrome, non-granular nucleus (lymphocytes and monocytes).

Normal value, × 10 9 cells / l:

  • dog: 6.0-17.0;
  • cat: 5.5-19.5.

Leukocyte formula (leukoformula) – the percentage of different types of leukocytes, determined by counting them in a stained blood smear under a microscope.

Granulocytes (GRAN) is the total number of indicators such as stab and segmented neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils.

Stab neutrophils (NEUT) are a type of neutrophil that has an S-shaped nucleus.They are young forms of neutrophils, over time, stab neutrophils mature and are converted into segmented neutrophils.

Increase – infections, postoperative period, ischemic tissue necrosis, mercury or lead intoxication, cancer, some inflammatory processes, reaction to certain drugs.

Normal value,%:

  • dog: 0-3;
  • cat: 0-3.

Segmented neutrophils (NEUT) – perform a protective function against various bacterial and fungal infections, and also support the normal immune system.

Increase – pneumonia, purulent inflammation, acute ischemia or tissue necrosis, extensive burns, diseases of the circulatory system, acute blood loss.

Decrease – viral infections, autoimmune diseases, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis.

Normal value,%:

  • dog: 60–70;
  • cat: 35–75.

Eosinophils (EOS) – granulocytic leukocytes capable of absorbing various inflammatory mediators, thereby participating in allergic reactions.

Increase (eosinophilia) – parasitic diseases, allergic reactions, lung diseases (eosinophilic pneumonia, asthma, allergic aspergillosis, pulmonary infiltration), blood diseases, autoimmune diseases, stomach and intestinal diseases, rheumatic diseases, taking certain medications.

Decrease – B12-deficiency anemia, trauma. Often not clinically relevant.

Normal value,%:

  • dog: 2-10;
  • cat: 2-12.

Basophils (BAS) – leukocyte fraction responsible for delayed and immediate allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock reactions) types.

Increase in – blood diseases, chronic inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, allergic reactions (food or iatrogenic), hypothyroidism, estrogen treatment.

Normal value,%:

  • dog: 0-1;
  • cat: 0-1.

Lymphocytes (LYM) – cells of the immune system, a type of leukocytes of the agranulocyte fraction. Distinguish between T and B lymphocytes. T-lymphocytes are responsible for cellular immunity (contact with victim cells), B-lymphocytes provide humoral immunity (antibody production), and lymphocytes regulate the activity of other types of cells.

Increase – viral infections, hyperthyroidism, cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

Demotion – bacterial infection, sepsis, corticosteroid treatment, immunosuppressive therapy, some types of lymphomas, radiation therapy.

Normal value, × 10 9 cells / l:

  • dog: 0.9-5.0;
  • cat: 1.0-7.0.

Monocytes (MONO) – agranulocytic leukocytes with the ability to phagocytose foreign agents.

Increase (monocytosis) – infections of various etiologies, as well as the period after acute infections, blood diseases, phosphorus poisoning.

Decrease – damage to the bone marrow with a decrease in its function (aplastic anemia, B12-deficiency anemia), radiation sickness.

Normal value, × 10 9 cells / l:

  • dog: 0.3–1.5 cells / l;
  • cat: 0.2–1.0 cells / l.

Leukocyte shifts

Shift of the leukocyte formula to the left – acute infectious diseases, physical overstrain, acidosis and coma.

Shift of the leukocyte formula to the right – megaloblastic anemia, kidney and liver diseases, conditions after blood transfusion.

Do not forget: only a veterinarian can take into account all the nuances of the data of a clinical blood test. The values ​​of the indicators that are considered to be “normal” are averaged. Depending on many characteristics of the animal: age, sex, size and even its diet, medications taken and past diseases, normal values ​​can differ significantly.

If you have any additional questions, the veterinarians of the “Averia” clinic are happy to help you 24 hours a day!

90,000 What is included in a complete blood count and how much does it cost?

Elena: Hello, what is included in a general blood test and what is its cost?

Dear Elena.

Complete blood count includes the following indicators:
-WBC-leukocyte count
-RBC-number of erythrocytes
-MCV-average erythrocyte volume
-MCH-average hemoglobin content in erythrocyte
-MCHC-average concentration of hemoglobin in erythrocyte
-RDW-SD – the width of the distribution of erythrocytes by volume, standard deviation
-RDW-CV-width of distribution of erythrocytes by volume
-PLT-platelet count
-MPV-average platelet volume

The clinical blood test (Complete blood count + leukocyte differentiation + ESR) includes, in addition to the listed parameters of the general blood test, the percentage and absolute number of 5 different subpopulations of leukocytes:
-NE -% neutrophils
-LY -% lymphocytes
-MO -% monocytes
-EO -% eosinophils
-BA -% of basophils
-NE # – the number of neutrophils
and determination of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)

In cases where it is necessary to determine an acute inflammatory shift, identify abnormalities in the morphology of erythrocytes, determine the presence of toxicogenic granularity of neutrophils, cytolysis, mononuclear cells, blast cells, we recommend that in addition to a general blood test, a Leukocyte formula test .