Lab results hematocrit: Hematocrit test – Mayo Clinic
Hematocrit test – Mayo Clinic
We’re welcoming patients at Mayo Clinic
See our safety precautions in response to COVID-19.
Request an appointment.
A hematocrit (he-MAT-uh-krit) test measures the proportion of red blood cells in your blood. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body. Having too few or too many red blood cells can be a sign of certain diseases.
The hematocrit test, also known as a packed-cell volume (PCV) test, is a simple blood test.
Products & Services
Show more products from Mayo Clinic
Why it’s done
A hematocrit test is part of a complete blood count (CBC). Measuring the proportion of red blood cells in your blood can help your doctor make a diagnosis or monitor your response to a treatment.
A lower than normal hematocrit can indicate:
- An insufficient supply of healthy red blood cells (anemia)
- A large number of white blood cells due to long-term illness, infection or a white blood cell disorder such as leukemia or lymphoma
- Vitamin or mineral deficiencies
- Recent or long-term blood loss
A higher than normal hematocrit can indicate:
- A disorder, such as polycythemia vera, that causes your body to produce too many red blood cells
- Lung or heart disease
How you prepare
The hematocrit is a simple blood test. You won’t need to fast before the test or make other preparations.
What you can expect
The blood sample is generally drawn with a needle from a vein in your arm. You may feel some tenderness at the site, but you’ll be able to resume normal activities afterward.
Results from your hematocrit test are reported as the percentage of blood cells that are red blood cells. Normal ranges vary substantially with race, age and sex. The definition of normal red-blood cell percentage also varies from one medical practice to another.
Generally, a normal range is considered to be:
- For men, 38.3 to 48.6 percent
- For women, 35.5 to 44.9 percent
For children ages 17 and younger, the normal range varies by age and sex.
Your hematocrit test provides just one piece of information about your health. Talk to your doctor about what your hematocrit test result means in light of the symptoms you’re experiencing and the results of other diagnostic tests.
Accuracy of test results
A number of factors can affect the outcome of a hematocrit test and yield inaccurate or misleading results, including:
- Living at a high altitude
- Significant recent blood loss
- Recent blood transfusion
- Severe dehydration
Your doctor will take into account possible complicating factors when interpreting the results of your hematocrit test. Your doctor may want to repeat the hematocrit test and do other blood tests if results provide conflicting or unexpected information.
Feb. 12, 2019
- Sandoval C. Approach to the child with anemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 24, 2016.
- Schrier SL. Approach to the adult patient with anemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 24, 2016.
- Types of blood tests. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/bdt/types. Accessed March 24, 2016.
- Tefferi A. Diagnostic approach to the patient with polycythemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 24, 2016.
- Hoffman R, et al. The polycythemias. In: Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 24, 2016.
- CBC with differential, blood. Mayo Medical Laboratories. http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/9109. Accessed March 24, 2016.
Products & Services
Show more products and services from Mayo Clinic
What do your hematocrit test results mean?
If you’re showing signs of being anemic (which could include fatigue, grumpiness, headaches, or heavy menstrual cycles), your doctor might want to do bloodwork. A hematocrit test is a type of blood test that can detect anemia and other health conditions, which will help your healthcare provider to properly diagnose and treat you. This article describes what hematocrit tests are and helps explain what your hematocrit levels mean.
What is hematocrit?
Hematocrit is a measurement of the size and number of red blood cells that someone has. Everyone’s blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The hematocrit (hct) is a measurement of how much of someone’s blood is made up of red blood cells. The test measures by volume but is then expressed as a percentage. If a person has a hematocrit of 40%, this means that he or she has 40 milliliters of red blood cells in 100 milliliters of blood.
Doctors will ask someone to get a hematocrit test as part of a complete blood count (CBC) to see how well they’re responding to a certain treatment and/or to see if they have any underlying health problems. Hematocrit helps measure hemoglobin, which is what’s found in oxygen-carrying red blood cells. It’s important because the body can’t get enough oxygen to function properly without it, says Susan Besser, MD, a family practitioner at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
Why is hematocrit important?
Hematocrit tests can tell doctors if someone is anemic, which is one of the most common reasons for ordering the test. Symptoms of anemia include tiredness, grumpiness, heavy menstrual periods, cold hands and feet, and poor concentration. Your doctor may ask you to get a hematocrit test done if you have any of those symptoms.
Hematocrit tests, which are sometimes called packed cell volume tests (PCV), can also help tell doctors whether someone has other nutritional deficiencies or health problems such as leukemia, kidney disease, or arthritis. Hematocrit tests are important because they measure how many red blood cells someone has. Too many or too few red blood cells can indicate certain nutritional deficiencies or diseases that doctors will know how to identify.
What to expect during a hematocrit test
During a hematocrit test, you can expect to have a sample of blood taken by a phlebotomist or another healthcare professional who can draw blood. Getting your blood drawn can be uncomfortable, but most people only feel a light prick when the needle inserts the vein. If you need to have a hematocrit test done and know that you might get lightheaded, you can always ask to lie down while your blood sample is being taken.
What is a normal hematocrit level?
The average healthy adult should have a normal hematocrit level that ranges between 35% to 50%. A normal hematocrit level for women is 36.1% to 44.3%. For men, a normal range is 40.7% to 50.3%. The normal numbers vary a little from lab to lab. This means the average adult female’s total blood volume should consist of 36% to 44% red blood cells, and the average adult male’s blood should be 40% to 50% red cells. Infants and newborn babies should have normal values that range between 32% to 61%.
Hematocrit tests are generally pretty accurate. Test results help doctors diagnose their patients with the right health condition so they can give appropriate treatment. It’s possible for certain things to cause a hematocrit test to give inaccurate results though. Here are some factors that commonly cause abnormally high or low hematocrit levels:
- Pregnancy can cause hematocrit levels that are lower than usual
- Any recent blood transfusions
- Living at a high altitude can cause high hematocrit levels
- Dehydration can cause high hematocrit levels
Doctors are aware of what can potentially skew test results, and they have them in the back of their mind when they’re reading results. If your doctor feels that your hematocrit levels may have been affected by something like dehydration, they may ask you to take the test again at a different time.
What does it mean if your hematocrit is low?
Having low hematocrit levels, which is sometimes called anemia, often makes people feel under the weather. If you’re having any of the following symptoms, they could mean you have a low red blood cell count:
- Lack of concentration
- Shortness of breath
- Heavy menstrual cycles
If you take a hematocrit test and your test results report low hematocrit levels, this means you have a lower percentage of red blood cells than you should. Many things can cause low hematocrit levels, which can indicate an underlying health condition like:
Just because you have low hematocrit levels, doesn’t necessarily mean that you have any of the above conditions. Your doctor will likely run other medical tests and ask you about your medical history to help determine what’s actually going on.
What does it mean if your hematocrit is high?
Experiencing certain symptoms may indicate that you need a hematocrit test and that your hematocrit is high. If you’re having any of the following symptoms, you should talk with your doctor about whether or not a hematocrit test is right for you:
- Shortness of breath
- Flushed skin
- Joint pain
If you’ve taken a hematocrit test and hematocrit is high, this means that you have more red blood cells than what’s considered to be healthy. High hematocrit levels could indicate underlying medical conditions like:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Congenital heart disease
- Bone marrow disease (polycythemia vera)
- Scarring of the lungs
- Not enough oxygen in the blood (often from lung conditions)
Having abnormally high levels of red blood cells doesn’t necessarily mean that you have one of the conditions listed above. High hematocrit levels can mean that you might have a serious health condition like heart disease, but your doctor will run other tests to make sure you’re properly diagnosed.
How do you treat abnormal hematocrit levels?
Once you’ve taken a hematocrit test and know whether or not you have high or low hematocrit levels, the next step is figuring out the cause. Treatment will be based on how abnormal the hematocrit is and its underlying cause.
What to do for abnormally high hematocrit levels
Certain lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking and staying hydrated, can help lower high red blood cell counts. Staying hydrated is especially important because fluids help keep the blood from getting too concentrated.
Other than lifestyle changes, your doctor may prescribe a medication to help with high hematocrit levels. Blood clot medications are commonly prescribed because people with too many red blood cells have a higher risk of getting a blood clot. Aspirin (Aspirin coupons | What is Aspirin?) is sometimes recommended by doctors because of its ability to help with blood clots.
Other medications that doctors prescribe for high hematocrit levels are likely to focus on treating the condition that’s causing the body to produce too many red blood cells, like bone marrow or heart disease. Phlebotomy (bloodletting) is a popular way to control high red blood cell counts. In phlebotomy, blood is taken from the veins to make it thinner.
Get the SingleCare prescription discount card
What to do for abnormally low hematocrit levels
People with extremely low red blood cell counts may need to go to the doctor to get intravenous iron or blood transfusions. If there’s an underlying health condition that’s causing the body to produce less red blood cells, then medication might be needed to help stimulate the production of new red blood cells.
Some lifestyle changes can help increase red blood cell counts. Eating a variety of fresh, healthy foods that contain iron, vitamin B-12, and folic acid can prevent anemia. Taking these nutrients in supplement form can also be beneficial.
The best way to learn more about how to treat low or high hematocrit levels is to talk with your doctor or healthcare provider.
Anemia Treatments & Medications | SingleCare
Medically reviewed by Lindsey Hudson, APRN, NP-C
Take a deep breath. Let the air fill your lungs, rich with vital oxygen. How’s it feel? Refreshing? Calming? That deep breath doesn’t just release tension in your shoulders and neck–it also keeps your blood oxygenated and your body functioning. For anyone with a low red blood cell count caused by severe anemia, each breath is not delivering adequate oxygen, leaving them weak, dizzy, and unfocused.
Fortunately, if you’re anemic you don’t have to resign yourself to low energy. From medications to procedures to supplements, there are many options available to help rally red blood cells and replenish iron stores.
What is anemia?
At the basic level, anemia is a deficiency of red blood cells or hemoglobin, which inhibits oxygen delivery to muscles, organs, and other tissues. As a result, symptoms of anemia include fatigue, weakness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and dizziness. There are numerous causes for anemia, each with its own symptoms and treatments, so the condition can vary drastically in severity and longevity.
Red blood cells, the body’s microscopic oxygen couriers, are produced by the stem cells in red bone marrow, but there are many contributing agents, including iron, vitamin B-12, and folate. An imbalance, abnormality, or condition affecting any of these factors can be a cause of anemia.
There are many different types of anemia, but they all arise from three root causes: blood loss, decreased red blood cell production, or red blood cell destruction. These are a few of the most common types:
- Iron deficiency anemia: Bone marrow needs iron to manufacture hemoglobin, which allows blood cells to carry oxygen. Blood loss from menstrual bleeding, ulcers, hernias, or colon cancer can often lead to low hemoglobin levels.
- Vitamin deficiency anemia: Vitamin B-12 and folate are necessary to produce healthy red blood cells. An insufficiency could hinder blood cell production.
- Pernicious anemia: This type of vitamin deficiency anemia is specifically caused by the body’s inability to absorb vitamin B-12, hampering red blood cell development.
- Aplastic anemia: This is an autoimmune disease that inhibits the production of not just red blood cells, but also white blood cells and platelets. It’s much rarer than the other types, but can also be life-threatening.
- Thalassemia: An inherited blood disorder that decreases the body’s hemoglobin production.
- Hemolytic anemia: This condition destroys red blood cells (hemolysis) faster than they’re produced, causing a deficiency.
- Sickle cell anemia: This type of hemolytic anemia is characterized by defective hemoglobin and crescent-shaped red blood cells that die prematurely. Because it’s an inherited condition, sickle cell disease usually appears in the first year of life and, while the severity varies from person to person, often worsens with age, says the CDC.
- Anemia of chronic disease: This type of anemia stems from a persistent pre-existing condition such as chronic kidney disease, autoimmune disease, and Crohn’s disease.
A common misconception is that every anemia patient must be losing blood, according to Jesse P. Houghton, MD, Senior Medical Director of Gastroenterology at Southern Ohio Medical Center. “Two other very common forms of anemia are anemia as a result of chronic kidney disease (chronic kidney disease), and anemia as a result of a chronic medical condition (diabetes, COPD, CHF),” Dr. Houghton says.
With so many disparate causes, anemia cases are fairly widespread. According to the World Health Organization, anemia affects 1.62 billion people worldwide, a staggering 24.8% of the global population. That translates to more than 3 million U.S. cases per year. Fortunately, in most cases, it’s treatable, although the specific treatment depends on the underlying cause.
How is anemia diagnosed?
Fatigue, lightheadedness, weakness, and dizziness—especially when accompanied by a condition like cancer or kidney disease—are key signs of anemia. When making a diagnosis, a healthcare provider’s first move is often a physical exam, along with asking questions about the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and family history, which prove essential in helping determine the cause and best course of action. Then, they will usually order one or more blood tests.
Complete blood count (CBC)
This is often the first test ordered by a healthcare provider takes because it analyzes a few different blood features, including:
- Red blood cells
- White blood cells
- Hemoglobin levels
- Hematocrit, which is the ratio of your red blood cell volume to your overall blood volume
- Mean corpuscular volume (MCV), or the average size of your red blood cells
Together, these measurements can point to a root cause or underlying condition. For example, deficiencies in all three types of blood cells could indicate aplastic anemia while a low MCV might suggest iron deficiency anemia. Blood cell size is also important, says Shikha Jain MD, FACP, a hematology-oncology physician at Rush University Medical Center. “If they are too small, it can be indicative of anemia due to iron deficiency or bleeding,” Dr. Jain explains. “But if the red blood cells are too large, it may be due to a vitamin deficiency such as vitamin B12 or folate.”
Reticulocytes are young red blood cells. A high volume of these immature cells means the bone marrow is producing them at a normal rate, but they’re being destroyed or lost quickly. Conversely, a low reticulocyte count means the bone marrow is having difficulty producing blood cells.
This test is exactly what it sounds like. The doctor will smear a drop of blood on a slide, then examine it to observe blood cell size and shape. The results can be especially helpful in diagnosing sickle cell disease or a vitamin deficiency.
Ferritin blood test
Ferritin is the body’s main iron storage protein. A doctor performing this test will measure the ferritin levels of venous blood. Elevated levels can indicate an iron storage disorder.
Anemia treatment options
Anemia treatment can include everything from dietary supplements to blood transfusions. In some cases, a doctor might also use supplementary treatments like intravenous fluids and pain relievers to deal with pain and prevent complications.
For the 5 million Americans with iron deficiency anemia, doctors often recommend an iron supplement and dietary changes to combat low iron. Likewise, doctors may prescribe vitamin B-12, vitamin C, or folic acid supplements for other deficiencies. However, severe cases or ones caused by an underlying condition might require additional procedures, like a blood transfusion or a bone marrow transplant.
Blood transfusions are a common and effective treatment for various types of anemia, including aplastic anemia, hemolytic anemia, sickle cell, and inherited diseases like thalassemia. During a transfusion, doctors use an intravenous line (IV) to supply a patient with blood from a viable donor.
This can replenish lost blood or boost the number of cells or platelets in the bloodstream, making it a versatile procedure for treating a wide scope of conditions. Very rarely, blood transfusions can cause an allergic reaction or bloodborne infection, but these cases are few and far between.
A healthcare provider might also recommend certain medications to stimulate red blood cell production or reduce iron overloads caused by multiple transfusions.
Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs)
Erythropoietin (EPO) is a hormone produced by the kidneys and helps catalyze red blood cell production. It also promotes blood cell synthesis with hemoglobin, which allows the cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. An erythropoietin shortage is one of the causes of anemia, and EPO-stimulating drugs like Procrit and Epogen can help the body generate more essential red blood cells. These drugs are effective for a variety of anemia cases, but side effects can include hypertension, headaches, body aches, nausea, and vomiting.
Iron supplements (ferrous sulfate)
These supplements replenish the body’s iron levels, enabling it to continue producing adequate red blood cells and hemoglobin. According to UCSF Health, an adult male body stores 1,000 mg in iron, and an adult female has 300 mg. Generally, iron should come from a healthy, well-rounded diet, but blood loss from menstrual bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, or acute injury can quickly deplete these stores. That’s where iron supplements like Feosol and Slow FE come in. They’re best absorbed on an empty stomach or with vitamin C from a glass of orange juice. Unlike other vitamins and minerals in the body, it’s possible to overdose on iron, so carefully follow a doctor’s recommendation and the dosage guidelines.
Vitamin B supplements
Vitamin-deficiency anemia often requires vitamin B-12 or folate (vitamin B-9) supplements, which are available over the counter at pharmacies and health food stores. By replenishing vitamin levels, they allow the body to resume normal blood cell production. Some anemia patients only require supplements for a short period of time, while others take them for life—it all depends on the anemia’s cause and severity. Side effects are rare but may include headache, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
What is the best medication for anemia?
Anemia is such a diverse condition that there’s no single overarching cure. Instead, doctors and hematologists develop individualized treatment plans based on each patient’s anemia type, severity, age, history, and current medications. With that in mind, these are a few common medications that can help treat it.
|Feosol(ferrous sulfate)||Iron Supplement||Oral||600 mg daily in 1-3 doses||Upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation|
|Slow Fe||Iron Supplement||Oral||600 mg daily in 1-3 doses||Upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation|
|Vitamin B-12 (cyanocobalamin)||Vitamin B-12 supplement||Oral, injection||100-1000 mcg monthly||Dizziness, headache, nausea|
|Folic Acid (folate)||Folate supplement||Oral, injection||250 mcg, 1 mg daily||Allergic sensitization|
|Foltrate (vitamin B-12 + folic acid)||Vitamin B-12 and folic acid supplement||Oral||One tablet daily||Allergic sensitization|
|Procrit||Erythropoiesis-stimulating agent||Injection||50-100 units/kg 3 times weekly||Hypertension, headaches, body aches, nausea|
|Epogen||Erythropoiesis-stimulating agent||Injection||50-100 units/kg 3 times weekly||Hypertension, headaches, body aches, nausea|
|Micera (methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta)||Erythropoiesis-stimulating agent||Injection||0. 6 mcg/kg intravenously or subcutaneously once every two weeks||Hypertension, diarrhea, nasopharyngitis|
Dosage is determined by your healthcare provider based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and weight. Other possible side effects exist. This is not a complete list.
What are some common side effects of anemia medication?
Every anemia medication has a small chance of side effects. Pairing iron supplements with MiraLAX or Milk of Magnesia is often a good idea, according to Dr. Jain. “Iron pills have the potential side effect of upset stomach and constipation,” she says. “So taking a stool softener regularly is important.” They can also cause nausea, vomiting, and heartburn.
Vitamin B12 supplements can cause nausea and vomiting too, along with dizziness and headache, while folate supplements sometimes prompt bloating, nausea, trouble sleeping, and poor appetite.
Anemia patients that require an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent like Procrit, Epogen, or Aranesp may experience headaches, body aches, nausea, and vomiting.
These are the most common side effects, but this certainly isn’t a complete list. It’s important to consult a healthcare provider about all potential side effects and drug interactions before beginning a medication or other treatment.
What is the best home remedy for anemia?
Diet is important. People are often surprised by the profound impact dietary changes can have on their lives. Sometimes, thoughtful and dedicated diet changes are all that’s necessary to treat anemia, primarily for cases associated with minor vitamin deficiencies. For example, people with iron deficiency anemia would want to fortify their diets with iron-rich foods like:
- Dark green, leafy vegetables
- Red meats
- Soy products
People with a vitamin B-12 deficiency should add these foods:
- Greek yogurt
- Milk (both dairy and fortified non-dairy)
For boosted folate levels, good options include:
- Citrus fruits and juices
- Leafy greens
- Whole grains
A well-balanced diet that includes many of the foods listed above is a great way not just to prevent anemia, but to maintain overall health. Supplements are great, but it’s best to obtain iron and vitamins through a natural diet.
Frequently asked questions about anemia
Can anemia be caused by medications?
Yes. Certain drugs can cause autoimmune hemolytic anemia, where the immune system mistakes red blood cells for foreign entities and attacks them. These drugs include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Penicillin and similar antibiotics
Is anemia curable?
It depends on the underlying cause. Anemia as a result of blood loss, for example, will recede after transfusions and once the root condition or injury is addressed. Chronic conditions or deficiencies, however, might require long-term treatment, medications, or supplements.
How long does it take to recover from anemia?
It depends on the anemia’s type and cause. Using medication and procedures, doctors may be able to correct iron deficiency anemia in a matter of weeks, but the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says that replenishing your iron stores takes three to six months. Other types, like aplastic anemia or sickle cell disease, often require long-term maintenance.
What should you do if you are anemic?
Visit a healthcare provider for blood work to determine the anemia’s cause. A physician can prescribe a course of treatment to address any underlying conditions, which may include medications, blood transfusions, bone marrow transplants, or other procedures. Your healthcare provider may also refer you to a hematologist or vascular specialist for further evaluation.
Which medicine is best for anemia?
Iron deficiency anemia is the most prevalent type, making iron supplements the most common medication. However, the best medicine is different for each type. Anemia caused by vitamin deficiencies responds well to vitamin B-12 and folate supplements, while other types might require erythropoiesis-stimulating agents to spur on red blood cell production.
How can I raise my iron levels fast?
Revamping your diet to include iron-rich foods like red meats, eggs, and dark green, leafy vegetables can go a long way. However, taking an iron supplement will provide a much more concentrated dose. But be careful–too much iron can result in iron poisoning, so follow your healthcare provider’s advice and the supplement’s dosage instructions.
What should you eat if you are anemic? What should you drink?
For iron deficiency anemias, eat red meats, fish, eggs, soy products, and plenty of green, leafy vegetables. For vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia, go for fish, poultry, milk, and other dairy products. Folate-rich foods include beans, leafy greens, nuts, and citrus.
Related resources for anemia
Leukemia Treatments & Medications | SingleCare
Medically reviewed by Gerardo Sison, Pharm.D.
Over the last two decades, medical science has revolutionized the treatment of blood cancers leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. Still, a leukemia diagnosis can be unsettling; the prognosis is not always good and the treatment is difficult. However, leukemia is a condition many people get through. In fact, depending on the type of leukemia, most people respond very well to leukemia treatment. The first step is to understand the diagnosis and educate yourself on the available treatment options.
What is leukemia?
Leukemia is a type of cancer that primarily affects the white blood cells. Formed from hematopoietic cells, or “blood-making cells”, white blood cells are mainly produced in the bone marrow. Changes to the genetic material in these cells can cause them to grow out of control. Unlike many other cancers, however, leukemia does not normally produce tumors. Instead, the cancer cells spill into the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.
Primitive stem cells in the bone marrow produce all the body’s blood cells. The process by which primitive all-purpose cells, like stem cells, turn into specialized cells, like blood cells, is called differentiation.
Bone marrow stem cells first differentiate into myeloid stem cells or lymphoid stem cells. Myeloid stem cells produce most of the body’s blood cells, including red blood cells (oxygen-carrying cells) and platelets (blood-clotting cells). Myeloblasts are also produced from myeloid stem cells and give rise to infection-fighting cells called granulocytes. Lymphoid stem cells give rise to lymphoblasts, which produce lymphatic white blood cells, such asT cells and B cells. These immune system cells spend most of their time outside the bloodstream fighting off invaders. If either myeloblasts or lymphoblasts become cancerous, they go into overdrive and start dumping undifferentiated blood cells (blast cells) or immature blood cells into the bloodstream.
The two major types of leukemia, then, are classified according to the type of blood-producing cell that has become cancerous. Cancers of the myeloblasts are myeloid (or myelogenous) leukemias. Cancers of the lymphoblasts are lymphocytic leukemias.
Additionally, leukemia can be slow-growing (chronic) or fast-growing (acute). Acute forms of leukemia produce an excess of blasts, cells too immature to carry out their proper function in the body. Chronic forms of leukemia overproduce cells that are only partly mature, so at least some of their functions can be carried out.
With these distinctions in mind, the different types of leukemia include:
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (acute lymphoblastic leukemia). The most common cancer in children, ALL represents about 15% of all leukemia cases. The five-year survival rate for children with ALL is 89% and the long-term survival rate is good.
- Acute myeloid leukemia (acute myelogenous leukemia). AML is a rare cancer. About 20,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with AML each year. It is difficult to treat and has a high mortality rate, particularly among the elderly.
- Acute promyelocytic leukemia. An aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia.
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (chronic lymphoblastic leukemia). Approximately 22,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with CLL each year, mostly adults, and the average age at diagnosis is 70. The five-year survival rate is 85%.
- Chronic myeloid leukemia (chronic myelogenous leukemia). About 9,000 people a year in the United States are diagnosed with CML. The average age at diagnosis is 64. The five-year survival rate is 69%.
- Hairy cell leukemia. A rare subtype of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. It’s caused by an excessive production of B cells from the bone marrow.
Doctors measure the severity of a cancer diagnosis by assigning a stage to the condition. For tumor-producing cancers, the stage is defined by how extensively tumors have spread in the body. Since leukemia does not produce tumors, leukemia stages are determined by the type of cancer cells that are found in the bloodstream and bone marrow.
As leukemia progresses, the cancerous cells in the bone marrow crowd out the healthy bone marrow cells. The bone marrow produces fewer and fewer healthy blood cells until it fails altogether. As a result, most patients with leukemia will not have enough fully-functioning immune cells, which increases the risk of severe infections, the most common cause of death in leukemia patients. Other serious complications that can arise from different types of leukemia include:
- Internal bleeding
- Organ failure or respiratory distress due to leukostasis, a condition in which the excess of white blood cells in the bloodstream blocks blood flow to the lungs or other organs
- Leukemic meningitis, a condition which occurs when leukemia spreads to the central nervous system
- Severe, life-threatening complications that directly result from leukemia treatments
While leukemia risk factors include a family history of leukemia, carcinogen exposure, radiation exposure (including X-rays), a previous history of leukemia-like cancers called myelodysplastic syndrome, or rare genetic conditions such as Down syndrome or Bloom syndrome, the majority of leukemia patients do not have any known risk factor.
Leukemia will strike around 60,000 people in the United States this year. 20,000 will perish from the condition. Leukemia can be cured, particularly in children. When treated, most patients will be cured or go into remission for several years, but this will depend on the type of leukemia and its stage.
How is leukemia diagnosed?
Symptoms and a medical history will point a healthcare provider towards a leukemia diagnosis, but the final diagnosis is made from blood tests. Chronic (slow-growing) leukemia is often first caught through routine blood tests, but symptoms are usually the first sign of acute (fast-growing) leukemia.
Although symptoms vary depending on the type of leukemia, the most common symptoms of leukemia are:
- Pale skin
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
- Enlarged liver and spleen
- Unexplained weight loss
Chronic leukemia, however, frequently has no or only mild symptoms.
A definitive diagnosis will be made by a hematologist, a specialist in blood diseases and disorders, or an oncologist, a specialist in cancer. Blood tests are used to count the number of blood cells, immature blood cells, and blasts in the bloodstream. These blood counts will help determine the type of leukemia and whether or not the cancer is chronic (slow-growing) or acute (fast-growing).
In some cases, a sample of the bone marrow will be removed from the hip bone using a needle, a procedure called aspiration. A pathologist will study the sample to identify the type and amount of cancerous cells in the bone marrow. Once treatment begins, blood tests and bone marrow biopsies will be regular parts of the treatment to test how effectively medications and other therapies are working.
Leukemia treatment options
Treatment will depend on the type of leukemia, whether it’s chronic or acute, and the stage the cancer has advanced to. For some patients with chronic leukemia, the only treatment will be observation and monitoring. For faster-growing leukemia, treatment will largely focus on controlling cancer with medications. A bone marrow transplant may be necessary to treat advanced stages of the condition.
The first-line therapy for leukemia depends on the type of leukemia. For some leukemias, first-line therapy is chemotherapy, drugs designed to kill cancer cells. For others, the first-line medication will be targeted therapy drugs that home in on a unique genetic characteristic of the cancer cells. Other medications include antibodies to amplify the immune system’s response to cancer cells, differentiation agents to help cancerous cells in the bloodstream mature, and growth factors that provide an alternative to blood transfusions by stimulating red blood cell production in the bone marrow.
Surgery is rarely used for leukemia. Unlike other cancers, leukemia does not form tumors. Instead, the cancer cells are distributed throughout the body in the bloodstream. Leukemia usually causes the spleen and liver to enlarge, so, on rare occasions, an enlarged spleen may need to be surgically removed, a procedure called a splenectomy.
Radiation is not normally used for leukemia except in cases where a tumor has formed or the cancer has spread to the central nervous system. Radiation can also be used to kill bone marrow cells in preparation for a stem cell transplant.
Bone marrow transplantation
When leukemia medications fail to rein in the cancer, a stem cell transplantation is used to replace cancerous bone marrow stem cells with healthy stem cells. The existing bone marrow is first destroyed with radiation or chemotherapy. Healthy stem cells are then taken from a donor (called an allogeneic transplant) or from the patient’s blood or bone marrow (called an autologous transplant). The preferred source will depend on the type of leukemia being treated. For autologous transplants, the bone marrow will often be prepared in the lab to remove any cancerous cells. An autologous stem cell transplant can also be made from umbilical cord stem cells if these were banked at birth. These healthy bone marrow cells are then put into the patient’s bones.
CAR T-cell therapy
The immune system fights off cancerous leukemia cells both in the bloodstream and the bone marrow. CAR T-cell therapy involves removing T-cells from the bloodstream. The T-cells are then genetically altered so that they specifically go after leukemia cells. These altered T-cells are grown in the lab and returned to the bloodstream to fight off leukemia cells throughout the body.
Central nervous system prophylaxis
The spread of leukemia to the central nervous system can be a significant life-threatening complication of leukemia. Acute forms of leukemia may involve therapy to prevent cancer cells from spreading to the brain or spine using intrathecal chemotherapy injections, that is, injections made directly into the spinal fluid in the lower back or directly into the brain using a surgically-implanted Ommaya reservoir. The reservoir sits beneath the skin on the scalp and delivers drugs through a catheter passing through the skull. Chemo drugs are inserted directly into the reservoir using a needle. Intrathecal therapy is very commonly used in children with acute lymphocytic leukemia but is less commonly used with adults.
Medications for bladder cancer are prescribed based on the cancer’s stage and risk for spreading.
Chemotherapy is the primary treatment for nearly all cases of acute lymphocytic leukemia and the main treatment for acute myeloid leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Chemotherapy drugs circulate throughout the body, so they are effective at targeting cancers like leukemia which proliferate in the bloodstream and lymphatic system.
Leukemia chemotherapy follows three phases:
- Induction therapy. In the induction phase, high-dose chemotherapy drugs are used for a short period, typically about a month.
- Consolidation therapy. The consolidation phase begins when leukemia is in remission. High-dose chemotherapy drugs are given for a few months to keep the cancer from coming back to life.
- Maintenance. The maintenance phase typically lasts for two years. A less intensive regimen of chemotherapy is taken to prevent dormant cancer cells from causing a relapse.
When chemotherapy is used for chronic leukemia, it will be given in 12 four-week cycles. Chemotherapy drugs will be taken for one or two weeks followed by a rest period.
Chemotherapy drugs for leukemia come in several types:
- Alkylating agents, such as chlorambucil or cyclophosphamide, are commonly used to prevent leukemic cells from growing.
- Alkaloids, such as vincristine, prevent cancer cells from dividing into new cancer cells.
- Antitumor antibiotics, such as doxorubicin, daunorubicin, and epirubicin, attack and kill leukemia cells in the same way other antibiotics attack and kill bacteria.
- Antimetabolites, such as methotrexate and 6-mercaptopurine, prevent cancer cells from making copies of their DNA, effectively stopping their growth.
- Corticosteroids are often used along with chemotherapy for acute lymphocytic leukemia. Corticosteroids both stop the growth of cancer cells and induce cell death.
Targeted therapy is used as the first-line treatment in chronic myeloid leukemia. For acute leukemia, targeted drugs are used when chemotherapy hasn’t succeeded. Targeted drugs work specifically against defective proteins in the cancer cell that cause cancer cells to grow out of control. They are often identified by the protein they affect, such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors or FLT3 inhibitors.
Antibodies are proteins produced by the body that attach to foreign cells such as bacteria or tumor cells. One part glues to the foreign cell and another part glues to an attacking immune system cell. Monoclonal antibodies are synthetic cells that specifically attach to leukemia cancer cells and either provoke immune system cells to attack the cell, such as Blincyto (blinatumomab), or act as a delivery system for a chemotherapy drug, such as Besponsa (inotuzumab ozogamicin).
For acute promyelocytic leukemia, differentiation agents are used to help immature white blood cells mature into fully functioning white blood cells. Unlike chemotherapy drugs, differentiation agents such as all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) or arsenic trioxide (ATO) do not kill the cancer cells. For this reason, these drugs can help lower the risk of complications such as excessive blood clotting or severe bleeding.
Leukemia will require other medications to treat complications of the disease or treatment. Supportive care treatments include antibiotics, antiviral medications, and vaccines to help prevent infection. Transfusions, growth factors, or corticosteroids may be used to help restore low red blood cell or platelet counts.
What is the best medication for leukemia?
The most appropriate medications are determined by the type of leukemia being treated, the stage the cancer has progressed to, how the cancer has responded to other therapy, and the patient’s tolerance of side effects. There is no “best” medication for leukemia, just the most appropriate drug or combination of drugs for the medical situation.
|Best medications for leukemia|
|Dexamethasone||Corticosteroid||Oral tablet, intravenous (IV) injection or intramuscular (IM) injection||0.05 to 0.9 mg IV or IM initially once daily. Dosage may be individualized based on the condition and drug response of the patient.||Fluid retention, difficulty sleeping, mood, behavior changes|
|Adriamycin (doxorubicin)||Anthracycline antibiotic||Intravenous (IV) infusion||60 to 75 mg/m2 IV every 21 days. Then, in combination with other chemotherapy drugs, 40 to 75 mg/m2 every 21 to 28 days||Hair loss, nausea, vomiting|
|Methotrexate||Antimetabolite||Oral tablet, intramuscular (IM) injection, or intrathecal injection||Dosage depends on the condition being treated, how the drug is administered, and other drugs it is administered with||Nausea, diarrhea, hair loss, photosensitivity|
|Purine analog||Oral tablet||1.5 mg to 2.5 mg/kg once daily. Dosage varies depending on the condition being treated.||Bone marrow suppression, abdominal pain, nausea, malaise|
|Vincristine||Alkaloid||Intravenous (IV) injection or intravenous (IV) infusion||1.4 mg/m2 IV once weekly in combination with other chemotherapy drugs. Dosage may vary based on weight or body surface area.||Hair loss, low white blood cell counts, nerve pain|
|Gleevec (imatinib)||Tyrosine kinase inhibitor||Oral tablet||600 mg once daily. Dosage may vary depending on the type of cancer being treated.||Water retention, nausea, muscle cramps|
|Sprycel (dasatinib)||Tyrosine kinase inhibitor||Oral tablet||140 mg once daily. Dosage depends on type of leukemia or weight (in children)||Low white blood cell counts, anemia, diarrhea|
|Rituxan (rituximab)||Monoclonal antibody||Intravenous (IV) infusion||Dosage depends on body surface area, chemotherapy cycle, and other drugs being administered in combination||Infusion reactions, low white blood cell counts, fever|
|Mylotarg (gemtuzumab ozogamicin)||Antibody drug conjugate||Intravenous (IV) infusion||Dosage depends on body surface area, chemotherapy stage, and individual response to therapy||Hemorrhage, infection, fever|
|Venclexta (venetoclax)||BCL-2 inhibitor||Oral tablet||100 mg on day 1, 200 mg on day 2, 400 mg on day 3, and 400 mg once daily on day 4 and beyond. Dosage may vary depending on the type of cancer being treated.||Low white blood cell counts, anemia, diarrhea|
Many of the standard dosages above are from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dosage is determined by your doctor based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and weight. Other possible side effects exist. This is not a complete list.
What are the common side effects of leukemia medication?
Side effects of leukemia medications will vary depending on the medication, the dosage prescribed, and any coexisting medical conditions. This is not a complete list.
All leukemia drugs reduce the ability of bone marrow to produce white blood cells. As a result, infections are a common side effect and could be serious enough to require hospitalization. Many leukemia drugs also suppress red blood cell and platelet production, so anemia, bleeding, and bruising are common.
One of the most serious side effects of leukemia treatments is tumor lysis syndrome. Chemotherapy and other treatments often kill off many cancer cells which then break up and dump their cellular contents into the bloodstream. This causes a rapid build-up of calcium, phosphate, and uric acid that overwhelms the body. Tumor lysis syndrome is a life-threatening medical emergency.
Most people will experience side effects of chemotherapy drugs including nausea, vomiting, flu-like symptoms, skin rash, and hair loss. Chemotherapy can have severe side effects such as liver damage, kidney damage, nerve damage, and heart damage.
The most commonly experienced side effects from monoclonal antibodies are infusion reactions, fever, headache, nausea, and an increased risk of infections. Severe side effects include potentially lethal allergic reactions, heart arrhythmias, and liver disease.
Side effects of targeted therapy are often mild, including diarrhea, muscle pain, and fatigue.
What is the best home remedy for leukemia?
There are no effective home, diet, or natural remedies for acute or chronic leukemia. As with all cancers, self-care is an important part of minimizing the effects of cancer treatment.
Follow doctor’s instructions
You will be given a detailed set of instructions after chemotherapy, drug infusions, or any other type of leukemia treatment or surgery. Follow these instructions to the letter, particularly those related to avoiding infections, taking medications, and taking proper care of a catheter, PICC line, or other device that may have been implanted for administering chemotherapy.
Leukemia treatments significantly lower the body’s ability to fight off infections. The primary goal of home care is to avoid infections. Wash your hands regularly and practice good hygiene.
Eat foods rich in nutrition
Chemotherapy may cause gastrointestinal problems, loss of appetite, and involuntary weight loss. Eat small meals spaced out several times a day rather than large meals. Bland foods, soups, and liquid foods are easier to keep down after treatments. Eat foods rich in nutrients and avoid junk food.
Replace fluids and electrolytes
If cancer treatments cause diarrhea, which many do, drink fluids to avoid dehydration. Make sure to consume electrolytes in broths, electrolyte drinks, or foods like bananas. Consult your doctor if you experience persistent or severe diarrhea.
Frequently asked questions about leukemia
What chemotherapy drugs are used to treat leukemia?
The drugs used to treat leukemia depend on the type of leukemia being treated and whether it is fast-growing (acute leukemia) or slow-growing (chronic leukemia). Drugs used to treat leukemia include chemotherapy drugs, targeted therapy drugs, immunotherapy drugs, differentiation agents, and growth factors.
What foods cure leukemia?
No food or dietary supplement can cure leukemia. However, a balanced diet can keep the body strong so it can fight leukemia and recover more easily after treatments. Make sure to eat a consistent diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein. Avoid raw or undercooked foods to prevent the risk of food poisoning.
What are the long-term effects of leukemia?
Depending on the type of leukemia a person has, treatment can often be successful at curing cancer or inducing remission. The five-year survival rate for some types of leukemia can be as high as 89%. Relapse rates, unfortunately, are high.
What organs does leukemia affect?
Leukemia results in the overproduction of immature blood cells, particularly white blood cells. The excess of blood cells puts a great strain on the liver, which clears out excess blood cells, and the spleen, which collects and stores white blood cells. Therefore, swollen liver (hepatomegaly) and swollen spleen (splenomegaly) are two symptoms used to diagnose leukemia.
Also, the excess of white blood cells in the bloodstream can slow down or block blood circulation, a condition called leukostasis. When white blood cells clog up smaller blood vessels, the body’s organs—the heart, liver, kidneys, and brain—can be starved of needed oxygen. Organ failure due to leukostasis is one of the reasons people can die from leukemia.
How does leukemia kill you?
Because leukemia attacks the body’s ability to fight off infections, the major cause of death among leukemia patients involves infections. Other life-threatening complications of leukemia include organ failure due to white blood cells clogging up the blood vessels, bleeding (hemorrhage), leukemia spreading to the brain or spinal cord, and lethal side effects from leukemia treatments.
How does leukemia start?
Leukemia is caused by changes in the genetic material of the bone marrow cells that produce blood cells, causing the overproduction of immature blood cells.
How much does leukemia medication cost?
According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the average three-year cost to treat chronic leukemia is $200,000, but the average three-year cost to treat acute leukemia is $800,000.
Is there a pill for leukemia?
Most cases of leukemia will be treated by a combination of oral medications and injections.
Can you live a normal life with leukemia?
Acute leukemia can be cured. Most cases of leukemia, including all cases of chronic leukemia, can only be managed, but not cured. A normal life is possible, but even people who have been cured must be checked regularly for relapse.
Can leukemia be cured naturally?
Natural, dietary, or alternative treatments will not cure leukemia.
Related resources for leukemia
13 signs of heart problems worth worrying about
Everyone knows that crushing chest pain is often a sign of a heart attack. But there are some types of cardiovascular disease whose symptoms are far more subtle.
Take this patient who went to the doctor about shoulder aches and pain. Her doctor told her to lighten her load, and carry her purse on the other side. A few days later, the pain had not subsided. The woman went to see Martha Gulati, MD, division chief of cardiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix. Sure enough, Dr. Gulati found blockages in her arteries.
It’s important to keep an eye out for more than just the “classic” problems.
Most common types of heart disease
Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term that encompasses several types of heart issues:
- Coronary artery disease: Coronary artery disease is the most common heart disease. It results when there’s a buildup of LDL (bad cholesterol) in your arteries. If unmanaged, this can lead to cardiac arrest and death.
- Congestive heart failure: This happens when your heart muscle is too weak and either pumps too little or at too high a pressure. About 5 million people struggle with congestive heart failure in the U.S., and more than half die within five years of being diagnosed.
- Valvular heart disease: When one of the four heart valves doesn’t work properly, either because of an illness, a birth defect, or damage to the heart over time, you will experience valvular heart disease. It is most common in older people, and less common than other heart diseases. Some people may go their entire lives without knowing they have a valve problem.
- Atherosclerosis: This is when plaque builds up on the walls of your arteries. Atherosclerosis affects about 3 million people annually. It often has no symptoms and may never cause an issue, but can lead to a heart attack if untreated.
- Arrhythmia: This is when your heart beats too fast, too slow, irregularly, or skips beats. It’s one of the most common heart conditions and often isn’t a cause for concern. However, seniors with other risk factors may want to take a blood thinner to ward off strokes. If it’s untreated, it can result in cardiac arrest.
- High or low blood pressure: Though technically not a disease in itself, high blood pressure is one of the most common conditions in the world. It can be controlled with medications, and should be—unchecked blood pressure problems can cause heart attacks, stroke, and coronary artery disease.
What are the warning signs of heart disease?
Different symptoms can indicate different types of heart disease. Watch for these signs that might seem innocuous, but could signal that your heart health is at risk.
1. Extreme fatigue
Could indicate: Coronary artery disease; congestive heart failure; valvular heart disease
There are many conditions that can cause fatigue. Yet, persistent, unexplained tiredness could be a sign that your heart is not pumping well, or is encountering some other problem—like a blockage or a valve issue.
2. Shortness of breath
Could indicate: Atherosclerosis; coronary artery disease; congestive heart failure; valvular heart disease
Sure, you get winded easily if you’re a little out of shape, but don’t write it off too quickly. If you find yourself gasping for air after a small amount of exertion, like walking out to the car or up the front steps, it could be heart-related.
3. Change in exercise tolerance
Could indicate: Coronary artery disease; congestive heart failure; valvular heart disease
John Osborne, MD, the director of cardiology at LowT Center/HerKare and volunteer for the American Heart Association (AHA), regularly sees patients who could mow the lawn easily a few months ago, but now struggle—and they end up having heart disease. If tasks that used to be painless are now difficult, consider seeing a doctor.
4. Digestive concerns
Could indicate: Coronary artery disease
Lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain can be common signs of a heart attack—especially for women, who often have different symptoms than men. It can start with a vague sense of not feeling well in the digestive area or heartburn, but these, along with breaking into a cold sweat, can indicate coronary artery disease.
5. Sleep apnea, snoring, or waking up during the night
Could Indicate: Arrhythmia; coronary artery disease; congestive heart failure
Heart disease could be behind your poor night’s sleep. Your blood flow and heart rate change when you go to sleep when everything is functioning normally. If there’s something wrong, it could be waking you up at 1 a.m. Heart failure can cause sleep apnea or make fluid build up in the lungs, and arrhythmia can make you feel like your heart is racing—both of which can interrupt your dreams.
Sleep apnea treatments and medications
Could indicate: Congestive heart failure; valvular heart disease
Especially in the legs, ankles, or feet, swelling can be a sign of heart failure. If you have puffed up so much that your finger leaves an indent when you touch your body, it might be time to check with a medical professional.
7. Chest discomfort or angina
Could indicate: Atherosclerosis; coronary artery disease; valvular heart disease
Feelings of squeezing, tightness, pressure, or heaviness can be signals that something is wrong with your heart. People commonly describe cardiac distress as feeling like an elephant is sitting on their chest.
8. Leg cramps
Could indicate: Atherosclerosis
Leg pain, or difficulty walking, can be a sign that your circulation is impaired. The main organ behind blood flow? Your heart.
9. Heart rhythm and rate changes
Could indicate: High or low blood pressure, congestive heart failure; valvular heart disease; arrhythmia
When your heartbeat feels unusual—too fast or uneven—that is called palpitations. It’s a feeling similar to when you’ve had too much caffeine or feel panicked. But if you’re just sitting and reading a book, and your heart starts to race, it could mean you’re at risk for heart disease.
10. Shoulder, arm, neck, back, abdomen, or jaw pain
Could indicate: Atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease
When your heart is struggling, it can make other parts of your body call out in pain. Arm pain is a classic heart attack symptom, but it can also occur in the shoulders, back, stomach, or jaw.
11. Dizziness or lightheadedness
Could indicate: Arrhythmia; high or low blood pressure; congestive heart failure; valvular heart disease
Feeling faint usually means there’s not enough blood flow to the brain. While there are lots of causes, abnormal heart function could be one of them—especially when you feel dizzy upon standing up.
12. Persistent cough
Could indicate: Coronary artery disease; congestive heart failure
Heart failure can make fluid build up in your lungs, which can trigger coughing or wheezing.
13. Weakness in extremities
Could indicate: Atherosclerosis
Weakness in the legs goes hand-in-hand with change in exercise tolerance and shortness of breath. It could be a type of fatigue associated with heart trouble.
If you experience any of the above symptoms of heart disease—either acutely or worsening over time—first stop what you’re doing and wait for it to resolve. Then, call your primary care physician and make an appointment to get it checked out. If it doesn’t resolve and you begin to experience other urgent symptoms, like more intense pain or difficulty walking, go to the emergency room.
What are the warning signs of a heart attack?
Heart attacks are an emergency. Keep watch for these common symptoms so you can help yourself or others.
- Chest pain. This could manifest as chest pressure, squeezing, discomfort, or the feeling of “an elephant on your chest,” Dr. Gulati says.
- Arm pain. This includes your jaw, shoulder, and arm, and is usually on the left side; it could be localized to one spot.
- Stomach problems. This includes indigestion, heartburn, acid, nausea, stomach pain, or reflux that doesn’t correlate with a meal, especially in the case of silent heart attacks, Dr. Osborne says.
- Lightheadedness. If you’re dizzy, light-headed, or passing out, that’s a sign of an emergency.
- Sweating. This typically manifests as a cold sweat, but any sudden excess sweating without warning is a symptom.
- Shortness of breath. This includes difficulty taking a deep breath or asthma-like symptoms.
- Fatigue. Your heart struggling to keep you alive can make you very tired very fast.
What should I do if I or a loved one is having a heart attack?
If you suspect you or someone around you is having a heart attack, you need to act quickly. First (and most importantly), call 911. Do not attempt to drive yourself or anyone you know to the hospital. While the ambulance is on the way, take these steps if you’re having a heart attack:
- Chew an aspirin. This will help thin the blood and start to break up the blood clot causing issues.
- Unlock the door. If you’re alone and you pass out, the paramedics will still be able to enter easily.
- Stop what you’re doing and try to relax. You need to immediately remove any extra strain on your heart, so sit or lie down. If coughing hard or banging on your chest helps you feel better, do it, but Dr. Osborne notes that it doesn’t really make any difference in the course of a heart attack.
If you’re not the one having the heart attack, administer CPR if necessary.
Frequently asked questions about heart symptoms
What is a dangerous heart rate?
Generally, a healthy heart rate is between 60 (or 50 if you’re really healthy) and 100 beats per minute—so anything above or below those numbers could be a problem. On either end of the spectrum, you might be feeling dizzy, faint, or lightheaded, or pass out, Dr. Osborne says. If it’s above 100 beats per minute, that’s when you might have chest pain and shortness of breath.
Either way, though, high or low, head to the doctor. An irregular heartbeat at these levels could mean thyroid problems, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, or any number of other conditions.
Can symptoms of a heart attack last for days?
When we hear about heart attacks, it’s typically something that’s come on out of nowhere and was unexpected. But some heart symptoms—depending on the situation—can last for several days.
“Everybody’s different,” Dr. Gulati says. “[For] some people, symptoms will come on suddenly, and that usually means that maybe a clot broke off or something initiated the cascade of a thrombus or blood clot formation. But other people may have ongoing symptoms of angina [reduced blood flow to the heart] that just get worse over time. It might be a response to stressful situations or both physical and emotional stress may bring it on.”
For example, you could get chest heaviness while walking, but it goes away once you begin to rest. Or you could have chest heaviness and shortness of breath, and feel excessively hot and sweaty when exercising—so you stop.
“Those are usually warning signs that there’s something going on,” Dr. Gulati says. “Angina presents in many different ways to different people. Some people, it will be sudden in onset and they’ve never experienced a symptom before, and for other people, they may have been experiencing small but subtle things that have been gradually getting worse.”
Other symptoms that could last for several days or even months, Dr. Osborne says, include swelling, waking up short of breath at night, not being able to sleep flat, breathlessness, and the inability to take a deep breath.
When should I be worried about heart palpitations?
Though they may be scary at the time, heart palpitations are rarely something to be concerned about. Dr. Gulati says that some people are just more aware of their heartbeats than others and are more likely to notice skipped beats or other palpitations. But she and Dr. Osborne both agree that it’s time to seek medical attention when those palpitations come along with fainting, dizziness, pain, or shortness of breath.
What are common heart medications?
If you need heart medication, there are hundreds of options for your cardiologist to choose from. These are the most common medication categories (and how they work).
- Blood thinners: Stop blood from clotting
- Antiplatelet agents (including aspirin): Stop blood platelets from sticking together and forming clots
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: Expand blood vessels and help blood flow more easily and reduce blood pressure
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs): Stop blood pressure from rising
- Angiotensin-receptor neprilysin inhibitors (ARNIs): Break down natural substances that can block arteries
- Beta blockers: Make the heart beat slower and stronger
- Calcium channel blockers: Stop calcium from entering the heart and blood vessels and reduce blood pressure
- Cholesterol medications: Lowers high cholesterol levels
- Digitalis: Make heart contractions stronger
- Diuretics: Remove excess fluid from the body
- Vasodilators: Relax blood vessels and brings more blood and oxygen to the heart and can reduce blood pressure as well
Incorporate healthy lifestyle changes to enhance the efficacy of heart medications. A poor diet and lack of physical activity can put you at a higher risk of heart disease.
While many heart problems don’t have clear warning signs, there is often treatment available. If you notice one of these unusual signs there might be a problem with your ticker, don’t delay. See your doctor, and find out what you can do to treat it.
Hematocrit | Lab Tests Online
Sources Used in Current Review
2019 review by Erika B. Deaton-Mohney MT(ASCP), CPP and the Editorial Review Board.
(June 24, 2019) American Society of Hematology. Blood Basics. Available online at https://www.hematology.org/Patients/Basics/. Accesses on 6/24/2019.
(October 7, 2018) Maakaron, J. Anemia: Practice Essentials, Pathophysiology, Etiology. Medscape Reference. Available online at https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/198475-overview#a1. Accessed June 6, 2019.
McPherson, Richard A & Pincus, Matthew R. (© 2017). Henry’s Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 23rd Edition: Elsevier Inc., St. Louis, MO. Chapter 32, 559-605.
Greer, J, Rodgers, G, Glader, B, Arber, D, Means, R, List, A, Appelbaum, F, Dispenzieri, A, Fehniger, T (2019). Wintrobe’s Clinical Hematology-14th Edition: Wolters Kluwer, Philadelphia, PA. Part 1 – Laboratory Hematology Chapter 1. Examination of Blood and Bone Marrow.
Sources Used in Previous Reviews
Thomas, Clayton L., Editor (1997). Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. F.A. Davis Company, Philadelphia, PA [18th Edition].
Pagana, Kathleen D. & Pagana, Timothy J. (2001). Mosby’s Diagnostic and Laboratory Test Reference 5th Edition: Mosby, Inc., Saint Louis, MO.
Wu, A. (2006). Tietz Clinical Guide to Laboratory Tests, Fourth Edition. Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, Missouri. Pp 514-517.
Henry’s Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 21st ed. McPherson R, Pincus M, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier: 2007, Chap 31, Pp 459-460.
Kasper DL, Braunwald E, Fauci AS, Hauser SL, Longo DL, Jameson JL eds (2005). Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 16th Edition, McGraw Hill, Pp 329-336.
Pagana K, Pagana T. Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests. 3rd Edition, St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier; 2006, Pp 296-300.
Harmening D. Clinical Hematology and Fundamentals of Hemostasis. Fifth Edition, F.A. Davis Company, Piladelphia, 2009, Pp 82-85,771-773.
(Feb 9 2010) Dugdale D. Hematocrit. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Available online at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003646.htm. Accessed January 2012.
(December 2005) Mayo Reference Services. How to interpret and pursue an abnormal complete blood cell count in adults. Vol. 30 No. 12. PDF available for download at http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/media/articles/communique/mc2831-1205.pdf. Accessed January 2012.
(March 1, 2011) National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. What is Polycythemia vera? Available online at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/blood/index.htm. Accessed Jan 2012.
(Aug 1, 2010) National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Anemia. Available online at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/anemia/. Accessed Jan 2012.
(November 4, 2011) Maarkaron J. Anemia. Medscape Reference article. Available online at http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/198475-overview. Accessed Jan 2012.
(May 26, 2011) Kahsai D. Emergent Management of Acute Anemia. Medscape Reference article. Available online at http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/780334-overview#a1. Accessed Jan 2012.
(August 26, 2011) Harper J. Pediatric Megaloblastic Anemia. eMedicine article. Available online at http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/959918-overview. Accessed Jan 2012.
(June 8, 2011) Artz A. Anemia in Elderly Persons. eMedicine article. Available online at http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1339998-overview. Accessed Jan 2012.
Riley R, et.al. Automated Hematologic Evaluation. Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University. Available online at http://www.pathology.vcu.edu/education/PathLab/pages/hematopath/pbs.html#Anchor-Automated-47857. Accessed Jan 2012.
Wintrobe’s Clinical Hematology. 12th ed. Greer J, Foerster J, Rodgers G, Paraskevas F, Glader B, Arber D, Means R, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: 2009, Pp 3-4.
Harmening D. Clinical Hematology and Fundamentals of Hemostasis, Fifth Edition. F.A. Davis Company, Philadelphia, 2009, Pp 771-773.
Henry’s Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. McPherson R, Pincus M, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier: 2011, Pp 512-513, 557-599.
(September 24, 2014) O’Leary M. Hematocrit. Medscape Reference. Available online at http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2054320-overview#a4. Accessed June 2015.
Hematocrit (Red Blood Cells) Test: Test Details & Results
What is a hematocrit test?
A hematocrit is a simple blood test done to measure the red blood cells in a person’s blood. Red blood cells (erythrocytes) are important because they carry oxygen through your body. A low or high red blood cell count can indicate a medical condition or disease.
The hematocrit test determines the number of red blood cells.
Why is a hematocrit test needed?
A hematocrit test is needed to check for the proportion of red blood cells. A low red blood cell count, or low hematocrit, indicates anemia. Suspected anemia is the most common reason for hematocrit testing.
A hematocrit is sometimes called a HCT. The hematocrit is calculated from the number of red blood cells in a sample of blood.
What is anemia?
Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen through the body. It can have many causes, including iron and vitamin deficiency.
Symptoms of anemia include:
- Trouble concentrating
- Cold hands and feet
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
How do I prepare for a hematocrit test?
No preparations are needed for a hematocrit test. Your physician will perform the test in his or her office or send you to a lab for testing.
A hematocrit is usually done as part of a complete blood count (CBC).
What can I expect during a hematocrit test?
The lab technician will begin the test by cleaning the area for the blood draw. This will usually be on the inside of your arm.
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, you might feel a prick or moderate pain. You may bruise afterwards. The technician will cover the draw site with gauze and a small bandage.
Are there risks to a hematocrit test?
A hematocrit is a very safe, common test. All tests carry a slight risk, however. These include:
- Feeling faint
- Excessive bleeding
- A hematoma
Results and Follow-Up
What are normal hematocrit test results?
The range for normal tests varies due to age and gender, but the general guidelines are:
- Male: 41% to 50%
- Female: 36% to 44%
For babies, normal results are:
- Newborn: 45% to 61%
- Infant: 32% to 42%
Your doctor will determine what is normal for you or your child.
What if I get a hematocrit result outside of the normal range?
Hematocrit results outside of the normal range, whether low or high, can indicate a serious medical condition. Your healthcare provider can interpret your individual results and come up with the best treatment plan for your underlying condition.
Low hematocrit results can indicate:
- Blood loss
- Leukemia or other bone marrow problems
- Iron and vitamin deficiency, including folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6
- Too much water in the body
- Kidney disease
- Thyroid abnormality
- Immune destruction of red blood cells
High hematocrit may be due to:
- Heart disease
- Scarring or thickening of the lungs
- Bone marrow disease
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Testosterone use
Hematocrit – the ratio of the volume of erythrocytes to the volume of the liquid part of the blood.
Determination of hematocrit is an integral part of a general blood test and is not performed separately.
Ht, Hct, Hematocrit, Crit, Haematocrit, PCV, Packed Cell Volume.
What biomaterial can be used for research?
Venous or capillary blood.
General information about the study
Hematocrit determines the volume of blood that is occupied by red blood cells in the bloodstream. This indicator is expressed as a percentage. For example, a hematocrit of 45% means that 100 milliliters of blood contains 45 milliliters of red blood cells.
An increase in hematocrit occurs if the number of erythrocytes increases or the volume of the liquid part of the blood decreases, which happens with excessive loss of fluid from the body (for example, with diarrhea).A decrease in this indicator is observed, on the contrary, with a decrease in the number of erythrocytes (for example, due to their loss, destruction or decrease in their formation) or with overhydration – when a person receives too much fluid (for example, with excessive administration of intravenous solutions).
Hematocrit reflects not only the number of red blood cells, but also their size. If the size of red blood cells decreases (as in iron deficiency anemia), the hematocrit will also decrease.
What is the research used for?
- In the diagnosis of anemia and polycythemia and to assess the effectiveness of their treatment.
- To determine the degree of dehydration.
- As one of the criteria when deciding on the need for a blood transfusion.
- To assess the effectiveness of blood transfusions.
When is the study scheduled?
This test is part of a routine complete blood count, which is performed both routinely and for various diseases and pathological conditions, before surgical interventions.
In addition, it can be repeated and at regular intervals:
- with dynamic observation and evaluation of the effectiveness of treatment of anemia and polycythemia,
- after conditions causing dehydration
- for recurrent bleeding for a comprehensive assessment of their severity.
What do the results mean?
14 days – 1 month
18-45 years old
> 65 years
As a rule, the level of hematocrit corresponds to the number of red blood cells, but this is true only when the size of red blood cells is normal.If the number of normal-sized red blood cells increases, then the hematocrit also increases. In cases of large or small red blood cells, this is not always the case. For example, with iron deficiency, red blood cells decrease and the hematocrit will be reduced, but the number of red blood cells in a blood unit may be normal and even slightly higher.
The level of hematocrit above 55% requires clarification of the cause and further diagnostic search.
Reasons for a decrease in hematocrit:
- iron, B 12 – or folate-deficiency anemia,
- acute or chronic bleeding (during or immediately after bleeding, the level of hematocrit and hemoglobin will be increased),
- disorders of hemoglobin synthesis (sickle cell anemia, thalassemia),
- liver cirrhosis,
- destruction of red blood cells as a result of hemolysis – destruction of red blood cells inside the body (it can occur for various reasons – due to a hereditary defect in red blood cells, as a result of the appearance of antibodies to its own red blood cells or toxic effects in malaria),
- oncological diseases of the bone marrow or metastases of other tumors in the bone marrow, leading to a decrease in the synthesis of erythrocytes,
- Excessive hydration of the body – the introduction of large volumes of intravenous fluids.
Reasons for an increase in hematocrit:
- dehydration (dehydration) of any origin – due to diarrhea, profuse vomiting, diabetes, after burns,
- Polycythemia vera due to excess production of red blood cells in the bone marrow,
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
- chronic heart failure.
What can influence the result of ?
- The hematocrit level is normally reduced in pregnant women due to a physiological increase in the volume of the liquid part of the blood.
- In persons climbing to a great height, there is an increase in the number of erythrocytes and, accordingly, hematocrit, since their body adapts to a low oxygen concentration.
- In smokers, hematocrit may be increased due to oxygen starvation of tissues and increased production of red blood cells.
- In newborns, the hematocrit level is increased, since they have quite a lot of large red blood cells in their blood.
- The number of erythrocytes, hemoglobin and hematocrit are to a large extent related to the degree of hydration of the body.If the volume of the liquid part of the blood decreases with excessive loss of fluid, these indicators will increase. However, the absolute number of erythrocytes and hemoglobin does not change.
Who orders the study?
General practitioner, therapist, hematologist, nephrologist, surgeon.
Erythrocytes perform an important function of supplying oxygen to the tissues of the body, as well as removing carbon dioxide from the tissues, which is then excreted through the lungs.If the level of red blood cells is below normal (anemia), the body does not receive enough oxygen. If the red blood cell count is above normal (polycythemia, or erythrocytosis), there is a high risk that the red blood cells stick together and block the movement of blood through the vessels (thrombosis).
Hemoglobin (HGB, Hb)
Hemoglobin is a special protein found in red blood cells and is responsible for the transfer of oxygen to organs.A decrease in hemoglobin levels (anemia) leads to oxygen starvation of the body. An increase in hemoglobin levels, as a rule, indicates a high number of red blood cells, or dehydration of the body.
Hematocrit is an indicator that reflects how much blood is occupied by erythrocytes. Hematocrit is usually expressed as a percentage: for example, a hematocrit (HCT) of 39% means that 39% of the blood volume is red blood cells.Increased hematocrit occurs with erythrocytosis (an increased number of red blood cells in the blood), as well as dehydration. A decrease in hematocrit indicates anemia (a decrease in the level of red blood cells in the blood), or an increase in the amount of liquid part of the blood.
Platelets are small plates of blood that are involved in the formation of a blood clot and prevent blood loss in case of vascular damage.An increase in the level of platelets in the blood occurs in some blood diseases, as well as after operations, after removal of the spleen. A decrease in platelet levels occurs in some congenital blood diseases, aplastic anemia (disruption of the bone marrow, which produces blood cells), idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (destruction of platelets due to increased activity of the immune system), liver cirrhosis, etc.
Leukocytes (white blood cells) protect the body from infections (bacteria, viruses, parasites).Leukocytes are larger than erythrocytes in size, but are contained in the blood in much smaller quantities. A high level of leukocytes indicates the presence of a bacterial infection, and a decrease in the number of leukocytes occurs when taking certain medications, blood diseases, etc.
Lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell that is responsible for the development of immunity and the fight against microbes and viruses.An increase in the number of lymphocytes (lymphocytosis) occurs in some infectious diseases (rubella, influenza, toxoplasmosis, infectious mononucleosis, viral hepatitis, etc.), as well as in blood diseases (chronic lymphocytic leukemia, etc.). A decrease in the number of lymphocytes (lymphopenia) occurs in severe chronic diseases, AIDS, renal failure, taking certain drugs that suppress immunity (corticosteroids, etc.).
Monocytes are leukocytes that, once in the vessels, soon leave them in the surrounding tissues, where they turn into macrophages (macrophages are cells that absorb and digest bacteria and dead cells of the body).An increased content of monocytes occurs in some infectious diseases (tuberculosis), rheumatoid arthritis, blood diseases. A decrease in the level of monocytes occurs after severe operations, taking drugs that suppress immunity (corticosteroids, etc.).
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, ESR
The erythrocyte sedimentation rate is an indicator that indirectly reflects the content of proteins in the blood plasma.An elevated ESR indicates possible inflammation in the body due to an increased content of inflammatory proteins in the blood. In addition, an increase in ESR occurs in anemia, malignant tumors, etc. A decrease in ESR is rare and indicates an increased content of erythrocytes in the blood (erythrocytosis), or other blood diseases.
Explanation of analysis values
There are many options for taking a blood test.Blood is taken for various purposes, to obtain indicators of the level of various elements in the blood, as well as other related processes.
An accurate blood test will help to establish in time what is wrong in the body and will tell the doctor what measures should be taken to improve your condition. A blood test also helps to monitor the effect of medications on the body.
Let’s consider how the indicators are deciphered:
- WBC (leukocytes) – white or colorless blood cells of various sizes.The main function of leukocytes is to resist infections, viruses, bacteria, etc. Leukocytes are divided into 5 types: neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils and basophils.
- LYM (lymphocytes) – the main cells of the human immune system. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that is produced in the lymphatic system and bone marrow. According to their functions, lymphocytes are divided into B – lymphocytes, which produce antibodies, T-lymphocytes, which fight infections, and NK lymphocytes, which control the quality of the body’s cells.
- LYM% – the relative content of lymphocytes.
- MON (monocytes) – one of the types of phagocytes, the largest type of leukocytes. Monocytes are formed in the bone marrow. These cells are involved in the regulation and differentiation of hematopoiesis, then go to the tissues of the body and turn into macrophages there. Monocytes are of great importance as they are responsible for the initial activation of the entire human immune system.
- MON% – the relative content of monocytes.
- NEU (neutrophils) – neutrophils are generated in the bone marrow. Their service life in the blood lasts several hours. Neutrophils kill germs (phagocytosis).
- NEU% – the relative content of neutrophils.
- EOS (eosinophils) – white blood cells, characterized by a specific orange color. They take part in the immune system. Increased with parasite infections. There is a tendency towards allergies and asthma.
- EOS% – the relative content of eosinophils.
- BAS (basophils) – one of the largest forms of leukocytes in the blood related to the immune system. Its main function is to dilate blood vessels during infection.
- BAS% – the relative content of basophils.
- RBC (erythrocytes) – red blood cells that carry hemoglobin. The main function of red blood cells is to transport oxygen from the lungs to all tissues and carbon dioxide from the tissues back to the lungs.Few red blood cells – little hemoglobin. Little hemoglobin – few red blood cells. They are interconnected.
- HGB (hemoglobin) – A protein contained in red blood cells and is responsible for the transfer of oxygen molecules to the cells of the body. The hemoglobin level is not constant and depends on age, gender, ethnicity, disease, smoking, in women – on pregnancy, etc.
- HCT (hematocrit) – shows the percentage of the index of the volume of red blood cells to the volume of the entire blood sample.
- MCV (average erythrocyte volume) – index of the average erythrocyte volume.
- MCH (average volume of hemoglobin) – average amount of hemoglobin in a single erythrocyte: in red blood cells.
- MCHC – the average concentration of hemoglobin in the erythrocyte.
- RDWc is the red blood cell distribution width. The indicator determines how red blood cells differ in size.
- PLT (platelets) – cells that affect the processes of blood coagulation.Platelets are responsible for hemostasis, wound healing, and stopping bleeding. Analysis of platelets is important in diseases of the bone marrow, in which they are formed.
- PCT (thrombocyte) – an indicator characterizing the percentage of platelet mass in the blood volume. Used to assess the risk of bleeding and thrombosis.
- MPV (average platelet volume) – index of average platelet volume.
- PDWc – the relative width of the distribution of platelets by volume.
- ESR – erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Non-specific laboratory blood index reflecting the ratio of plasma protein fractions; a change in ESR can serve as an indirect sign of the current inflammatory or other pathological process.
Complete blood count (CBC) – decoding of indicators
For those interested, we tell you in detail about the complete blood count (CBC), decrypt the main indicators, give the norms for children and adults, and also talk about the possible causes of deviations.For prices for blood tests and all other types of tests, see the “Services” section of our website.
Complete blood count is the most common test that is widely used to examine most diseases. Changes in the blood most often reflect the processes taking place in the whole body.
The best biomaterial for this analysis is blood taken from a vein (venous blood). It is when taking blood from a vein that it is possible to achieve minimal trauma and activation of cells, an admixture of tissue fluid, and it is possible to repeat and / or expand the analysis.
In some cases, however, it becomes necessary to use capillary blood (for example, in newborns, in patients with hard-to-reach veins, etc.).
The interpretation of the blood test result should be carried out by the physician taking into account the patient’s condition, history of his disease and clinical picture.
You need to know that the values of normal indicators differ in children of different ages and adults, in men and women, and may differ in different laboratories.
Explanation of the main indicators of the general blood test
Hemoglobin concentration (HGB) . The normal content of hemoglobin in human blood is considered: in men – 130-160 g / l (lower limit – 120, upper limit – 180 g / l), in women – 120-150 g / l; in children, the normal level of hemoglobin depends on age and is subject to significant fluctuations. So, in children 1-3 days after birth, the normal hemoglobin level is maximum and is 145-225 g / l, and by 3-6 months it decreases to a minimum level of 95-135 g / l, then from 1 year to 18 years a gradual increase in the normal level of hemoglobin in the blood.
Hemoglobin is the main component of red blood cells, it is the carrier of oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. The hemoglobin level can change in clinically healthy individuals, since some factors, for example, the height of residence above sea level, smoking, pregnancy, dehydration, or vice versa, increased fluid intake, physical activity can affect the value of this indicator. A decrease in hemoglobin concentration may indicate the presence of anemia, which requires mandatory follow-up examination to determine the cause of the disease and select the correct treatment.
Red blood cells (RBC) . The average hemoglobin content for men is 13.3-18 g% (or 4.0-5.0 × 1012 units), for women – 11.7-15.8 g% (or 3.9-4.7 × 1012 units). The unit of measurement for hemoglobin is the percentage of hemoglobin in 1 gram of red blood cells.
Erythrocytes are red blood cells in the form of a double-curved disc, they contain hemoglobin. The main function of erythrocytes is to provide gas exchange, transport oxygen to tissues and organs.Also, these cells participate in maintaining the acid-base state, affect the rheological properties (viscosity) of the blood, participate in immune processes by interacting with antibodies, circulating immune complexes.
The number of red blood cells in the blood is one of the most important indicators of the blood system. A decrease in the number of red blood cells in the blood is one of the main diagnostic criteria for anemia. Also, a decrease in the level of these cells can be observed during pregnancy, blood loss, overhydration and always requires additional examination to exclude life-threatening diseases.An increase in the number of red blood cells – erythrocytosis – can be observed with polycythemia, lung diseases, heart defects, increased physical activity, while staying at high altitudes, Cushing’s syndrome, pheochromocytoma, hyperaldosteronism, dehydration, alcoholism, smoking.
If there are changes in the erythrocyte count, it is necessary to consult a therapist who will conduct an examination and prescribe the necessary additional examinations to identify the exact cause and correct treatment.
Hematocrit (HCT) is the ratio of the volumes of corpuscles and blood plasma. Normally, the hematocrit of a man is 0.40-0.48, and a woman’s is 0.36-0.46. In newborns, the hematocrit is about 20% higher, and in young children it is about 10% lower than that of an adult.
Increase in level:
- Burn disease
- Medicines (androgens, oral contraceptives)
Decrease in level:
Leukocytes (WBC) (white blood cells).In the blood of an adult, leukocytes are 1000 times less than erythrocytes, and on average their number is 4-9 · 109 / l. In newborn children, especially in the first days of life, the number of leukocytes can vary greatly from 9 to 30 · 109 / l. In children aged 1-3 years, the number of leukocytes in the blood fluctuates in the range of 6.0-17.0 · 109 / l, and in 6-10 years – in the range of 6.0-11.0 · 109 / l.
The content of leukocytes in the blood is not constant, but dynamically changes depending on the time of day and the functional state of the body.So, the number of leukocytes usually increases slightly in the evening, after eating, as well as after physical and emotional stress. Play a major role in the specific and nonspecific protection of the body from external and internal pathogenic agents, as well as in the implementation of typical pathological processes (for example, inflammation) …
All types of leukocytes are capable of active movement and can pass through the capillary wall and penetrate into the intercellular space, where they absorb and digest foreign particles.
If a lot of foreign bodies have entered the body, then phagocytes, absorbing them, greatly increase in size and eventually are destroyed. This releases substances that cause a local inflammatory reaction, which is accompanied by edema, fever and redness of the affected area.
Substances that cause an inflammatory reaction attract new leukocytes to the site of introduction of foreign bodies. Destroying foreign bodies and damaged cells, leukocytes die in large numbers.The pus that forms in the tissues during inflammation is a collection of dead white blood cells.
Leukocyte formula is the percentage of different types of leukocytes. Leukocytes vary in origin, function, and appearance.
Neutrophils (NEUT) . Mature segmented neutrophils are normally the main type of leukocytes circulating in human blood, accounting for 47% to 72% of the total number of blood leukocytes. Another 1-5% are normally young, functionally immature neutrophils, which have a rod-shaped solid nucleus and do not have nucleus segmentation characteristic of mature neutrophils – the so-called stab neutrophils.
The main function of neutrophils is to protect the body from microorganisms. These cells play a very important role in protecting the body from bacterial and fungal infections, and a comparatively smaller role in protecting against viral infections. In antitumor or anthelmintic protection, neutrophils practically do not play a role.
An increase in neutrophils (neutrophilia) can be a sign of an acute and (less often) chronic infectious disease, oncological process, inflammation, autoimmune diseases, observed in the postoperative period, with increased physical exertion.
A decrease in the level of neutrophils (neutropenia) may indicate the presence of cancer of the blood, metasis in bone tissue, radiation sickness, aplastic anemia, it happens when taking certain medications, with anaphylactic shock, starvation, autoimmune diseases.
Monocytes (MONO) . Normally, monocytes make up from 3% to 11% of the total number of blood leukocytes. These are the largest cells of peripheral blood, they are macrophages, that is, they can absorb relatively large particles and cells or a large number of small particles and, as a rule, do not die after phagocytosis (death of monocytes is possible if the phagocytosed material has any cytotoxic properties for a monocyte).This is how they differ from microphages — neutrophils and eosinophils, which are capable of absorbing only relatively small particles and, as a rule, die after phagocytosis. Compared to neutrophils, monocytes are more active against viruses than bacteria, and are not destroyed during a reaction with a foreign antigen, therefore, pus is not formed in the foci of inflammation caused by viruses. Monocytes also accumulate in foci of chronic inflammation.
An increase in the number of monocytes can occur with infections of a viral, parasitic, bacterial nature and caused by protozoa, with autoimmune and oncological diseases, leukemia.
Basophils (BASO) are normal: 0 – 1%. These are very large granulocytes: they are larger than both neutrophils and eosinophils. Basophil granules contain large amounts of histamine, serotonin, leukotrienes, prostaglandins and other mediators of allergy and inflammation. These cells are involved in delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions, inflammatory and allergic reactions, and the regulation of vascular wall permeability.
An increase in the level of basophils can be observed in allergic diseases, rheumatism, leukemia, myelofibrosis, polycythemia.
Eosinophils (EO) make up 1 to 5% of leukocytes. These cells, like neutrophils, are capable of phagocytosis, moreover, they are microphages, that is, they are capable, unlike macrophages, to absorb only relatively small foreign particles or cells. However, eosinophil is not a “classic” phagocyte, its main role is not in phagocytosis. Their main property is the expression of Fc receptors specific for Ig E. Physiologically, this is manifested in the powerful cytotoxic, rather than phagocytic, properties of eosinophils, and their active participation in antiparasitic immunity.However, the increased production of Class E antibodies can lead to an immediate type of allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock), which is the main mechanism of all allergies of this type.
Increased levels, eosinophilia, may be a sign of allergic diseases: bronchial asthma, hay fever, allergic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, drug allergy.
Also, an increase in the loss of these cells may indicate the invasion of parasites: ascariasis, toxocariasis, trichinosis, echinococcosis, schistosomiasis, filariasis, strongyloidosis, opisthorchiasis, ankylostomiasis, giardiasis.
Eosinophilia can be associated with various oncological processes, immunodeficiency, connective tissue diseases (periarteritis nodosa, rheumatoid arthritis).
A decrease in the number of eosinophils, eosinopenia, may be at the first stages of the inflammatory process, with severe purulent infections, shock, sepsis, eclampsia during childbirth, with intoxication with chemical compounds and heavy metals.
Changes in the lekocyte formula should be interpreted by a doctor, since only a specialist (therapist, pediatrician, surgeon, allergist, traumatologist, otolaryngologist, gynecologist, neurologist, etc.)) can correctly assess the indicators of the analysis, prescribe additional examinations if necessary (biochemical blood test, examination for infections, allergies, ultrasound) to establish the correct diagnosis and prescribe treatment.
Platelets (PLT) are small (2-4 microns) non-nuclear, flat, colorless blood cells. Physiological plasma concentration of platelets – 180-360.109 platelets per liter. The main function of these elements is to form a platelet aggregate, a primary plug that closes the site of vessel damage and provides its surface to accelerate key plasma coagulation reactions.Thus, platelets provide normal permeability and resistance of the walls of microvessels.
A decrease in the number of platelets in the blood can lead to bleeding. An increase in their number leads to the formation of blood clots (thrombosis), which can block blood vessels and lead to pathological conditions such as stroke, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, or blockage of blood vessels in other organs of the body.
Inadequacy or disease of platelets is called thrombocytopathy, which can be either a decrease in the number of platelets (thrombocytopenia), or a violation of the functional activity of platelets (thrombasthenia), or an increase in the number of platelets (thrombocytosis).There are diseases that decrease the number of platelets, such as heparin-induced thrombocytopenia or thrombotic purpura, which usually cause thrombosis instead of bleeding.
A change in the number of platelets requires an additional study of the blood coagulation system (coagulogram) as prescribed by the attending physician.
ESR or erythrocyte sedimentation rate is a nonspecific laboratory blood index reflecting the ratio of plasma protein fractions. A change in ESR can serve as an indirect sign of the current inflammatory or other pathological process.Also, this indicator is known under the name “The erythrocyte sedimentation reaction”, ROE . Normally, the value of ESR in women is in the range of 2-15 mm / hour, and in men – 1-10 mm / hour.
Most often, an increase in ESR is associated with acute and chronic infection, immunopathological diseases, heart attacks of internal organs.
Although inflammation is the most common cause of accelerated erythrocyte sedimentation, an increase in ESR can also be caused by other, including not always pathological, conditions.ESR can also increase with malignant neoplasms, with a significant decrease in the number of red blood cells, during pregnancy, while taking certain medications. A sharp increase in ESR (more than 60 mm / h) usually accompanies such conditions as septic process, autoimmune diseases, malignant tumors, accompanied by tissue breakdown, leukemia. A decrease in the erythrocyte sedimentation rate is possible with hyperproteinemia, with a change in the shape of erythrocytes, erythrocytosis, leukocytosis, disseminated intravascular coagulation syndrome, hepatitis.
Despite its non-specificity, the ESR determination is still one of the most popular laboratory tests to establish the fact and intensity of the inflammatory process.
A change in the indicator requires a specialist consultation, correct interpretation in accordance with the clinical picture of the patient’s condition, other changes in the blood test. Most often, the doctor conducts additional examinations (ultrasound, specialist consultations) to identify the cause and possible disease.
Complete blood count. How it is carried out and what shows
General analysis of blood (CBC) is the most accessible method of primary assessment of the state of the body, the results of which, along with a general analysis of urine and biochemical blood tests, are included in the algorithms for diagnosing most diseases. In a healthy person, blood is relatively constant in composition, but it reacts to almost any pathological changes in the body. Therefore, in order to understand what is happening to a person, what studies to prescribe in the future or to decide on the treatment, the doctor, first of all, always prescribes a CBC.
This study is also used as a preventive examination even in the absence of any symptoms and reflects changes in health conditions. In addition, the UAC allows you to assess the success of the treatment.
Normal values of indicators UAC
Explanation of the main indicators of a general blood test:
| Hemoglobin (HGB, Hb, hemohlobin)
Indicator reflecting the amount of hemoglobin protein in the blood volume
| Hematocrit (HCT, hematocrit)
coefficient reflecting the ratio of the volume of blood cells to the volume of its liquid part
90,045 Women – 34-47% 90,046
| Erythrocytes (RBC, red blood cells)
reflect the number of erythrocyte cells in the blood volume
| MCV (average volume of erythrocytes, in some forms it can be indicated as macrocytosis, normocytosis or microcytosis)
indicator reflecting the average volume of all studied red blood cells
| RDW (Red cell distribution width)
Unlike MCV, which reflects the average volume of all red blood cells, RDW indicates how much the smallest red blood cells differ from the largest
|The norm for men and women – 11.6-14.8%|
| MCH (CP, color index of blood)
value indicating how much hemoglobin is contained in one single erythrocyte
|MCHC In contrast to the hemoglobin index, which reflects how much hemoglobin is in the entire blood volume, the MCHC indicates how much hemoglobin is contained only in the volume of red blood cells, that is, how much each of them is saturated with hemoglobin||
| Platelets (PLT, platelets)
indicator reflecting the number of platelets in the blood volume
| Leukocytes (WBC, white blood cells)
is an indicator that reflects the number of leukocytes in the blood volume, certain types of which subsequently form a leukocyte formula
Blood is a type of tissue of the human body, consisting of a liquid part (plasma) and shaped elements (cells) and performing a huge number of different functions such as transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide, maintaining a constant body temperature, stopping bleeding, neutralizing pathogens and etc.
The changes observed in the blood are most often uncharacteristic for a particular disease, but at the same time reflect the general state of the organism.
Fluctuations in general blood count indicators can also occur in normal conditions, under the influence of various factors: food intake, physical activity, emotional stress, pregnancy, smoking, etc. So, in pregnant women, the number of red blood cells and hemoglobin normally decreases. The white blood cell count, in turn, can rise after eating, exercising, or prolonged exposure to the sun.
In what cases is a general blood test prescribed?
Most often, the doctor prescribes a general blood test in order to assess the levels of hemoglobin, erythrocytes, platelets, ESR, the number of leukocytes and the leukocyte formula.
So, for example, if there are signs of infection, a complete blood count will help to understand the nature of the pathogen: viral or bacterial. In particular, a viral infection is characterized by an increase in the level of lymphocytes, and for a bacterial infection – neutrophils.
Also in the general blood test, the number of erythrocytes, hemoglobin and hematocrit is determined.These indicators make it possible to identify and assess the severity of anemia, as well as to suggest the cause of its occurrence.
Another important indicator is platelets. These small cells are directly involved in blood clotting processes. If the platelet count is low, the risk of bleeding and bruising increases. In a situation where there are many platelets, the likelihood of blood clots and, as a result, vascular blockage increases.
The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is a measure of how quickly blood in a test tube separates into plasma and cells.The main factor affecting this ESR is the protein composition of the blood, which, in turn, changes in various physiological (pregnancy, menstruation) and pathological (inflammation, infection) conditions. Together with other blood parameters, ESR has a prognostic value and can serve as an indicator of the effectiveness of the treatment. At the same time, an increase in ESR is not a specific indicator of any disease and does not directly correlate with the dynamics of the disease that has arisen. This is due to the fact that from the onset of the disease it can take from 24 to 48 hours before the ESR value goes beyond the normal range, and also to the fact that ESR can remain at a high level for up to several months even after the symptoms disappear.
There are automated and manual methods for determining ESR. Different laboratories may use different methods, which is why it is important to understand that ESR results from different laboratories can be similar only with normal ESR values. If the ESR is higher than normal, then the analysis data may be incomparable, even if the study was carried out at the same time. The higher the ESR level, the greater the difference between the results obtained using different methods. For the correct interpretation of the tests, experts advise taking tests always in the same laboratory.
Where to take a general blood test?
In the Sinevo medical laboratory a general blood test is performed from venous (through a puncture of a vein) and capillary (puncture of a finger) blood.
Blood from a vein is the “gold standard” biological material for a complete blood count and is preferred. The fact is that, unlike venous blood, capillary blood is a mixture of blood from small arteries, veins and capillaries, contains intercellular fluid, remnants of destroyed cells, lymph, which can affect the result of the analysis.
You can take a general blood test (CBC) in Minsk, Gomel, Brest, Grodno, Vitebsk, Mogilev, Bobruisk, Baranovichi, Soligorsk, Slutsk, Polotsk, Novopolotsk, Orsha, Zhlobin, Svetlogorsk, Pioleczyn, Mozyne Rechitsa, Gantsevichi, Smorgon.
In some cases, capillary blood donation is still recommended: with a tendency to venous thrombosis, overweight and difficult access to veins, extensive burns, in young children.
It is important to remember that only a doctor can correctly interpret changes in research results, recommend additional diagnostic methods, including laboratory ones, to clarify the existing blood picture, prescribe effective treatment and prevention methods.Do not engage in self-diagnostics, seek help from a specialist!
Medical Center – Asklepios Clinical blood test. Get tested in Vladivostok. Cost: 350 rubles.
Blood is a liquid tissue that performs various functions, including transporting oxygen and nutrients to organs and tissues and removing waste products from them. Consists of plasma and corpuscles: erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets. Clinical blood test (CAC) is one of the most important diagnostic studies that reflects the reaction of hematopoietic organs to the effect on the body of various physiological and pathological factors.In many cases, it is of great importance in making a diagnosis, and in diseases of the hematopoietic system, it plays a leading role. Currently, most of the indicators are determined on automatic hematological analyzers, which allow you to simultaneously study from 5 to 36 parameters, the main of which include the concentration of Hb, Ht, the number of erythrocytes, MCV, the average concentration of Hb in the erythrocyte (color indicator), the average content of Hb in the erythrocyte. , the half-width of the distribution of erythrocytes by size, the number of platelets, the average volume of the platelet, the number of leukocytes, as well as the ESR and leukocyte blood count presented in% or in absolute numbers per 10 G / l.Hemoglobin (Hb) is one of the main parameters used to assess erythropoiesis. Hb, the main component of red blood cells, is a complex protein composed of heme and globin. The main function of Hb is to transfer oxygen from the lungs to tissues, as well as to remove carbon dioxide from the body and regulate the CBS (acid base state) of the blood. A decrease in hemoglobin is a characteristic sign of anemias of various etiologies. An increase in hemoglobin concentration is observed in erythremia (polycythemia) and symptomatic reactive erythrocytosis.And also, with thickening of the blood (dehydration with indomitable vomiting, polyuria, diarrhea, etc.), a relative increase in the concentration of hemoglobin may occur. Hematocrit (Ht) is an indicator that gives an idea of the ratio of the volume of formed elements of blood to the total volume of blood, expressed as a percentage or as an index. The hematocrit index is widely used to judge the degree of anemia, in which, as a rule, its decrease is noted, sometimes to significant numbers (20-25%). An increase in hematocrit (55-65% and above) is characteristic of erythremia, a less sharp increase (50 -55%) is observed in symptomatic erythrocytosis associated with congenital heart defects, pulmonary insufficiency, and some hemoglobinopathies.The number of red blood cells in the blood (RBC) is one of the most important indicators of the blood system. The erythrocyte is the most abundant blood cell containing Hb. Mature human erythrocytes are devoid of a nucleus, have a biconcave shape, which increases the contact surface of hemoglobin with plasma and facilitates the transfer of oxygen and carbon dioxide. A decrease in the number of red blood cells (erythrocytopenia) is one of the important signs of anemia. Erythrocytopenia also occurs with an increase in the volume of circulating blood (pregnancy), overhydration, hyperproteinemia).An increase in the number of red blood cells (erythrocytosis) is one of the characteristic laboratory signs of erythremia. Erythrocytosis can be absolute (an increase in the mass of circulating erythrocytes, due to an increase in erythropoiesis) and relative (due to a decrease in the volume of circulating blood. Erythrocyte indices In laboratory practice, various indices are used to quantitatively characterize the average volume of erythrocytes, the degree of their saturation with hemoglobin, anisocytosis. corpuscular volume, the average volume of the erythrocyte) or the average corpuscular volume of the erythrocyte.MCV is an important indicator in the differential diagnosis of anemia. Changes in MCV can provide useful information about disturbances in water and electrolyte balance. An increase in MCV indicates a hypotonic nature of disturbances in water and electrolyte balance, while a decrease is of a hypertensive nature. (MCH, mean corpuscular hemoglobin) Average hemoglobin content in an erythrocyte. The MCH indicator characterizes the average hemoglobin content in an individual erythrocyte in absolute units. The determination of this indicator is based on the determination of total hemoglobin and the correlation of this value to the number of erythrocytes.MCH has no independent meaning and always correlates with MCV, color index and MCHC. SIT changes underlie the classification of anemias. (MCHC mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration) Average concentration of hemoglobin in the erythrocyte. This is an indicator of the saturation of erythrocytes with Hb. the ratio of hemoglobin content to cell volume. It reflects the saturation of the erythrocyte with hemoglobin. MCHS does not depend on the cell volume (unlike MCH) and is a sensitive indicator of the disturbance of the processes of hemoglobin formation.(RDW red cell distribution width) The distribution of red blood cells by volume. RDW is calculated as the coefficient of variation of the average volume of red blood cells. Anisocytosis is an increase in RDW> 14.5%. (PLT, platelets) the number of platelets in the blood. Platelets are blood cells involved in hemostasis. Platelets perform angiotrophic, adhesive-aggregation functions, participate in blood coagulation processes, maintain vasospasm, etc. Platelet indices: (MPV-mean platelet volume) distribution width) The distribution of platelets by volume – measured as a percentage and quantitatively reflects the heterogeneity of the population of these cells in size (the degree of platelet anisocytosis).(PCT – platelet crit) Thrombocritis – is a parameter that reflects the proportion of whole blood volume occupied by platelets. It is similar to hematocrit and is expressed as a percentage. (WBC, white blood cell) The number of leukocytes in the blood is an important diagnostic indicator. White blood cells are blood cells that form in the bone marrow and lymph nodes. The main function of leukocytes is to protect the body from foreign agents. Participation in cellular and humoral immunity. Leukocytes are divided into neutrophils, lymphocytes and monocytes.An increase in the total white blood cell count is called leukocytosis. Leukocytosis can be neutrophilic, eosinophilic, monocytic, rarely due to an increase in another type of cells. Leukocytosis can sometimes occur in healthy people, for example: – after eating food, especially rich in protein; ? after significant physical work; – against the background of pronounced psychoemotional stress, – after overheating or cooling. Leukocytosis in most cases reflects a satisfactory reactivity of the bone marrow hematopoiesis system in response to the action of external and internal stimulants of internal organs.The most pronounced leukocytosis occurs in chronic and acute leukemia, purulent diseases of typhus, as well as for many viral infections (influenza, measles, mumps, viral hepatitis, etc.), in which an increase in the number of leukocytes in the peripheral blood indicates the development of bacterial and other complications. Leukopenia – a decrease in the number of leukocytes. Leukopenia is caused by the suppression of leukopoiesis in the hematopoietic organs and is observed in many pathological conditions: -Viral infections (influenza, measles, rubella, viral hepatitis, AIDS, etc.).-Some bacterial (typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, brucellosis, etc.), rickettsial (typhus, rickettsiosis, etc.) and protozoal infections (malaria, etc.). – All types of generalized infection (septicemia, tuberculosis, etc.). – Hypoplasia and aplasia of the bone marrow (for example, with aplastic and hypoplastic anemia, the effect of ionizing radiation on the body, etc.). – Side effects of cytostatic drugs, antibiotics, sulfonamides, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, thyreostatics and some other medicines.-Agranulocytosis, accompanied by a pronounced decrease or disappearance of granulocytes (neutrophils) from the peripheral blood and other conditions. Leukocyte formula. Leukocyte formula – the percentage of different types of leukocytes in a blood smear. Changes in the leukocyte formula are associated with many diseases and are often nonspecific. Please note that when performing a clinical blood test, if significant deviations are detected in the samples and the result requires manual microscopy, our laboratory additionally carries out a manual calculation of the leukocyte formula free of charge, counting young forms of neutrophils (including accurate counting of stab neutrophils) and quantitative assessment all pathological forms of leukocytes (if any).
90,000 OAM UAC Bx blood. Make an appointment in Orekhovo. Doctor’s appointment in Orekhovo.
During life, each person has to pass all kinds of tests many times. However, does everyone know what tests are, for what purpose they are taken and what their results indicate?
Why get tested?
Laboratory analyzes help to assess the state of health of children and adults as objectively and fully as possible.Any change in the state of the human body causes changes in its biological fluids: blood, urine, saliva, etc. Many diseases in the early stages are completely asymptomatic, but they are already beginning to “send signals” into the blood, changing its biochemical parameters. These “signals” can be easily identified by taking tests. Due to this, the disease, detected even before the onset of clinical symptoms, is much easier to treat. Most often, a clinical blood test and a general urine test are taken.The results of these analyzes in the most general form show whether a particular person is healthy or not.
What is a CBC?
Clinical, or general analysis – one of the most commonly used blood tests for the diagnosis of various diseases.
Complete blood count. Decoding, normal indicators.
Norms of a general blood test
Reasons for an increase in hemoglobin
Low hemoglobin – reasons for a
Number of erythrocytes
Reasons for a decrease in the level of erythrocytes
Reasons for an increase in the number of erythrocytes
Total number of leukocytes
Reasons for an increase in leukocytes
Reasons for an increase in leukocytes
Reasons for an increase in leukocytes
Reasons for an increase hematocrit
MCH, MCHC, MCV, color index (CP) – norm
What is the left and right shift of the leukocyte formula?
Reasons for an increase in blood eosinophils
Reasons for a decrease in eosinophils
Reasons for an increase in monocytes (monocytosis)
Reasons for a decrease in monocytes (monocytopenia)
Reasons for an increase in blood basophils
Reasons for an increase in lymphocytes
6 Reasons for an increase in lymphocytes
Reasons for an increase in platelets
A decrease in platelet levels
ESR erythrocyte sedimentation rate
Reasons for an ESR increase
Reasons for a decrease in ESR
General blood test standards for adults
Complete blood count
We all had a general blood test at least once in our lives.And each person was faced with a misunderstanding of what is written on the form, what do all these numbers mean? How to understand why this or that indicator is increased or decreased? How can an increase or decrease, for example, of lymphocytes threaten? Let’s look at everything in order.
A complete blood count is the basis for the diagnosis of most of the known diseases. Many of its indicators can form the basis for the final diagnosis and the correct prescription of adequate treatment. In the event that you received the results of your blood test, you can check them against the norm by going to the section of the article in which the table is provided with normal indicators.
Norms of a general blood test
Table of normal indicators of a general blood test
Analysis indicator Norm
Hemoglobin Men: 130-170 g / l
Women: 120-150 g / l
Number of erythrocytes Men: 4.0-5.0 1012 / L
Women: 3 , 5-4.7 × 1012 / l
Leukocyte count Within 4.0-9.0 × 109 / l
Hematocrit (ratio of plasma volume to blood cell elements) Men: 42-50%
Average erythrocyte volume Within 86-98 μm3
Leukocyte formula Neutrophils:
Segmented forms 47-72%
Stab forms 1-6%
Eosinophils: 0.5- 5%
Platelet count Within 180-320 109 / L
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) Men: 3-10 mm / h
Women: 5-15 mm / h
Hemoglobin ( Hb) is a protein containing an iron atom that is capable of attaching and carrying oxygen.Hemoglobin is found in red blood cells. The amount of hemoglobin is measured in grams / liter (g / l). Determining the amount of hemoglobin is very important, since with a decrease in its level, the tissues and organs of the whole body experience a lack of oxygen.
The norm of hemoglobin in children and adults
age sex Units of measurement – g / l
Up to 2 weeks 134 – 198
from 2 to 4.3 weeks 107 – 171
from 4.3 to 8.6 weeks 94 – 130 90 660 from 8.6 weeks to 4 months 103 – 141 90 660 from 4 to 6 months 111 – 141 90 660 from 6 to 9 months 114 – 140 90 660 from 9 to 1 year 113 – 141 90 660 from 1 year to 5 years 100 – 140
from 5 years old to 10 years 115 – 145
from 10 to 12 years old 120 – 150
from 12 to 15 years old women 115 – 150
men 120 – 160
from 15 to 18 years old women 117 – 153
men 117 – 166
from 18 to 45 years old women 117 – 155 90 660 men 132 – 173 90 660 from 45 to 65 years old women 117 – 160 90 660 men 131 – 172 90 660 after age 65 women 120 – 161 90 660 men 126 – 174
Reasons for an increase in hemoglobin
Dehydration (decreased fluid intake, profuse sweating, impaired renal function, diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus, profuse vomiting or diarrhea, use of diuretics)
Congenital heart or lung defects
Pulmonary failure or heart failure
Kidney disease (benign renal artery stenosis, kidney tumors)
Diseases of the hematopoietic organs (erythremia)
Low hemoglobin – causes
Congenital blood diseases (sickle cell anemia, thalassemia)
Depletion of the body
Red blood loss
small blood cells.These are the most abundant blood cells. Their main function is to carry oxygen and deliver it to organs and tissues. Erythrocytes are presented in the form of biconcave discs. Inside the erythrocyte there is a large amount of hemoglobin – the main volume of the red disk is occupied by it.
Normal level of erythrocytes in children and adults
Age indicator x 1012 / l
from 1 to 3 days 4.0-6.6
in 1 week 3.9-6.3
in 2 weeks 3.6-6.2
in 1 month 3.0-5.4
in 2 months 2.7-4.9
from 3 to 6 months 3.1-4.5
from 6 months up to 2 years old 3.7-5.3
from 2 to 6 years old 3.9-5.3
from 6 to 12 years old 4.0-5.2
at 12-18 years old boys 4.5-5, 3
at 12-18 years old girls 4.1-5.1
Adult men 4.0-5.0
Adult women 3.5-4.7
Reasons for a decrease in the level of erythrocytes
A decrease in the number of red blood cells is called anemia.There are many reasons for the development of this condition, and they are not always associated with the hematopoietic system.
Errors in nutrition (food poor in vitamins and protein)
Leukemia (diseases of the hematopoietic system)
Hereditary fermentopathies (defects in enzymes involved in hematopoiesis)
Hemolysis (death of blood cells as a result of exposure to toxic substances and autoimmune causes of increase)
Dehydration (vomiting, diarrhea, profuse sweating, decreased fluid intake)
Erythremia (diseases of the hematopoietic system)
Diseases of the cardiovascular or pulmonary system, which lead to respiratory and heart failure
Renal artery stenosis
Total leukocyte count
Leukocytes are living cells of our body that circulate with the blood stream.These cells exercise immune control. In the event of an infection, damage to the body by toxic or other foreign bodies or substances, these cells fight against damaging factors. The formation of leukocytes occurs in the red bone marrow and in the lymph nodes. Leukocytes are divided into several types: neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, monocytes, lymphocytes. Different types of leukocytes differ in appearance and functions performed during the immune response.
Norm of leukocytes in children and adults
indicator x109 / L
up to 1 year 6.0 – 17.5
from 1 year to 2 years 6.0 – 17.0
from 2 to 4 years 5.5 – 15 , 5
from 4 to 6 years 5.0 – 14.5
from 6 to 10 years old 4.5 – 13.5
from 10 to 16 years old 4.5 – 13.0
after 16 years old and adults 4.0 – 9.0
Reasons for an increase in leukocytes
Physiological increase in the level of leukocytes
After active physical activity
In the second half of pregnancy
Against the background of an inflammatory reaction
Pyoinflammatory processes (abscess, phlegmon, bronchitis, sinusitis, appendicitis, etc.)
Burns and injuries with extensive soft tissue injury
In the period of exacerbation of rheumatism
In the oncological process
In leukemia or malignant tumors of various localization, the immune system is stimulated.
Reasons for a decrease in leukocytes
Viral and infectious diseases (influenza, typhoid fever, viral hepatitis, sepsis, measles, malaria, rubella, mumps, AIDS)
Rheumatic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus)
Some types of leukemia
Hypotheses antineoplastic drugs (cytostatics, steroid drugs)
Hematocrit is the percentage ratio of the volume of the analyzed blood to the volume occupied by erythrocytes in it.This indicator is calculated as a percentage.
Norms of hematocrit in children and adults
Age sex Indicator in%
up to 2 weeks 41 – 65
from 2 to 4.3 weeks 33 – 55
4.3 – 8.6 weeks 28 – 42
From 8.6 weeks up to 4 months 32 – 44 90 660 From 4 to 6 months 31 – 41 90 660 From 6 to 9 months 32 – 40 90 660 From 9 to 12 months 33 – 41 90 660 From 1 to 3 years 32 – 40 90 660 From 3 to 6 years 32 – 42 90 660 From 6 to 9 years old 33 – 41 90 660 From 9 to 12 years old 34 – 43 90 660 From 12 to 15 years old women 34 – 44 90 660 men 35 – 45 90 660 From 15 to 18 years old women 34 – 44 90 660 men 37 – 48 90 660 From 18 to 45 years old women 38 – 47 90 660 men 42 – 50 90 660 From 45 to 65 years old women 35 – 47 90 660 men 39 – 50 90 660 after 65 years women 35 – 47 90 660 men 37 – 51
Reasons for an increase in hematocrit
Heart or respiratory failure
Dehydration as a result of profuse vomiting, diarrhea, extensive burns, diabetes
Reasons for decreased hematocrit
Second half of pregnancy
MCV, MCHC – norm
MCH – meancorpuscular hemoglobin.This index reflects the absolute hemoglobin content in one erythrocyte in picograms (pg). MCH is calculated by the formula:
MCH = hemoglobin (g / l) / number of erythrocytes = pg
24 – 33 pg.
Color index (CP) is a classic method for determining the concentration of hemoglobin in red blood cells. Nowadays, it is gradually being replaced by the SIT index in blood tests. These indices reflect the same thing, only they are expressed in different units.
Color index (CP)
MCHC – meancorpuscular hemoglobin concentration.This index reflects the degree of saturation of the erythrocyte with hemoglobin and is expressed in%. That is, according to this index, one can say how many percent is the hemoglobin content in one erythrocyte. MCSU is calculated as follows:
MCSU = (hemoglobin (g / l) / hematocrit (%)) * 10 =%
30 – 38%
MCV – meancorpuscular volume This indicator reflects the average volume of erythrocytes, expressed in microns cubic (μm3) or femtoliters (fl). Calculate MCV by the formula:
MCV = hematocrit (%) * 10 / number of erythrocytes (T / L) = μm3 (fl)
80-95 μm3 (fl)
Leukocyte formula is an indicator of the percentage of various types of leukocytes in the blood, their total number of leukocytes in the blood (this indicator is discussed in the previous section of the article).The percentage of different types of leukocytes in infectious, blood diseases, oncological processes will change. Thanks to this laboratory symptom, the doctor can suspect the cause of a health problem.
Types of leukocytes, norm
Neutrophils Segmented forms 47-72%
Stab forms 1-6%
For to find out the age norm, click on the name of the leukocyte from the table.
Neutrophils can be of two types – mature forms, which are also called segmented immature – stab. Normally, the number of stab neutrophils is minimal (1-3% of the total). With the “mobilization” of the immune system, there is a sharp increase (several times) in the number of immature forms of neutrophils (stab).
Norm of neutrophils in children and adults
Age Segmented neutrophils, rate in% Stab neutrophils, rate in% 90 660 Newborns 47 – 70 3 – 12 90 660 up to 2 weeks 30 – 50 1 – 5 90 660 From 2 weeks to 1 year 16 – 45 1 – 5
From 1 to 2 years 28 – 48 1 – 5
From 2 to 5 years 32 – 55 1 – 5
From 6 to 7 years 38 – 58 1 – 5
From 8 to 9 years 41 – 60 1 – 5
From 9 to 11 years old 43 – 60 1 – 5
From 12 to 15 years old 45 – 60 1 – 5
From 16 years old and adults 50 – 70 1 – 3
Increase in the level of neutrophils in the blood – this condition is called neutrophilia.
Reasons for an increase in the level of neutrophils
Infectious diseases (angina, sinusitis, intestinal infection, bronchitis, pneumonia)
Infectious processes – abscess, phlegmon, gangrene, traumatic soft tissue injuries, osteomyelitis
Inflammatory diseases of internal organs: pancreatitis, peritonitis, arthyroidism)
Heart attack (heart attack, kidney, spleen)
Chronic metabolic disorders: diabetes mellitus, uremia, eclampsia
Use of immunostimulating drugs, vaccinations
Decrease in the level of neutrophils – this condition is called neutropenia
Reasons for a decrease in the level of abdominal neutrophil diseases
typhoid, brucellosis, influenza, measles, chickenpox (chickenpox), viral hepatitis, rubella)
Blood diseases (aplastic anemia, acute leukemia)
High levels of thyroid hormones Thyrotoxicosis
Consequences of chemotherapy
The use of antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral drugs
What is the shift of the leukocyte formula to the left and to the right?
A shift in the leukocyte count to the left means that young, “immature” neutrophils appear in the blood, which are normally present only in the bone marrow, but not in the blood.A similar phenomenon is observed with mild and severe infectious and inflammatory processes (for example, with angina, malaria, appendicitis), as well as with acute blood loss, diphtheria, pneumonia, scarlet fever, typhus, sepsis, intoxication.
A shift in the leukocyte formula to the right means that the number of “old” neutrophils (segmented) in the blood increases, and the number of nucleus segments becomes more than five. Such a picture occurs in healthy people living in areas contaminated with radioactive waste.It is also possible in the presence of B12 – deficiency anemia, with a lack of folic acid, in people with chronic lung disease, or with obstructive bronchitis.
Eosinophils are one of the types of leukocytes that are involved in cleansing the body of toxic substances, parasites, and is involved in the fight against cancer cells. This type of leukocytes is involved in the formation of humoral immunity (immunity associated with antibodies)
The norm of blood eosinophils in children and adults
age Indicator in%
Newborns 1 – 6 90 660 up to 2 weeks 1 – 6 90 660 from 2 weeks to 1 year 1 – 5
from 1 to 2 years 1 – 7
from 2 to 5 years 1 – 6
from 6 to 7 years 1 – 5
from 8 to 9 years 1 – 5
from 9 to 11 years 1 – 5
from 12 to 15 years old 1 – 5
from 16 years old and adults 1 – 5
Reasons for an increase in blood eosinophils
Allergies (bronchial asthma, food allergies, allergies to pollen and other air allergens, atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, drug allergies)
Parasitic diseases – intestinal parasites (giardiasis, ascariasis, enterobiasis, opisthorchiasis, echinococcosis)
Infectious diseases (scarlet fever, tuberculosis, mononucleosis, venereal diseases)
Diseases of the hematopoietic system (leukemia, lymphoma, lymphogranulomatosis) 906 (rheumatoid arthritis, periarteritis nodosa, scleroderma)
Reasons for the decrease in eosinophils
Intoxication with heavy metals
Purulent processes, sepsis
The beginning of the inflammatory process
Monocytes are few in number, but the largest immune cells in the body. These white blood cells are involved in recognizing foreign substances and training other white blood cells to recognize them. They can migrate from blood to body tissues. Outside the bloodstream, monocytes change their shape and are converted into macrophages. Macrophages can actively migrate to the site of inflammation in order to take part in cleansing the inflamed tissue from dead cells, leukocytes, and bacteria.Thanks to this work of macrophages, all conditions are created for the restoration of damaged tissues.
Norms of blood monocytes in children and adults
age Indicator in%
Newborns 3 – 12
up to 2 weeks 5 – 15
From 2 weeks to 1 year 4 – 10
From 1 year to 2 years 3 – 10
From 2 to 5 years 3 – 9
From 6 to 7 years 3 – 9
From 8 to 9 years 3 – 9
From 9 to 11 years 3 – 9
From 12 to 15 years 3 – 9
From 16 years and adults 3 – 9
Reasons for increasing monocytes (monocytosis)
Infections caused by viruses, fungi (candidiasis), parasites and protozoa
Recovery period after an acute inflammatory process.
Specific diseases: tuberculosis, syphilis, brucellosis, sarcoidosis, ulcerative colitis
Rheumatic diseases – systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, periarteritis nodosa
diseases of the hematopoietic system.
Reasons for a decrease in monocytes (monocytopenia)
hairy cell leukemia
purulent lesions (abscesses, phlegmon, osteomyelitis)
taking steroid drugs (dexamethasone, prednisolone cells)
BasophilusNormally, it may not be detected in a blood test. Basophils are involved in the formation of delayed-type immunological inflammatory reactions. They contain a large amount of substances that cause tissue inflammation.
The norm of blood basophils
Reasons for an increase in blood basophils
chronic myeloid leukemia
a decrease in the level of thyroid hormones hypothyroidism
food and drug allergies
state after removal of the spleen
drugs (estrogens, drugs that reduce the activity of the thyroid gland)
Lymphocytes – the second largest fraction of leukocytes.Lymphocytes play a key role in humoral (through antibodies) and cellular (realized by direct contact of the destroyed cell and lymphocyte) immunity. Different types of lymphocytes circulate in the blood – helpers, suppressors and killers. Each type of white blood cell is involved in the formation of an immune response at a certain stage. 90 660 Norms of lymphocytes in children and adults 90 660 age Indicator in% 90 660 Newborns 15 – 35 90 660 up to 2 weeks 22 – 55 90 660 From 2 weeks to 1 year 45 – 70 90 660 From 1 year to 2 years 37 – 60 90 660 From 2 to 5 years 33 – 55 90 660 From 6 to 7 years 30 – 50 90 660 From 8 to 9 years 30 – 50 90 660 From 9 to 11 years 30 – 46 90 660 From 12 to 15 years 30 – 45 90 660 From 16 years and adults 20 – 40 90 660 Causes increased lymphocytes (lymphocytosis)
Viral infections: infectious mononucleosis, viral hepatitis, cytomegalovirus infection, herpes infection, rubella
Diseases of the blood system: acute lymphocytic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, lymphosarcoma – Franklin’s disease, heavy chain disease
Poisoning with tetrachloroethane, lead, arsenic, carbon disulfide
Use of drugs: levodopa, phenytoin, valproic acid, narcotic painkillers
Causes of a decrease in lymphocytes (lymphopenia)
Lupus annemia diseases;
Platelets are small, nuclear-free cells.The main function of this blood component is to participate in blood coagulation. Inside the platelets, most of the clotting factors are contained, which are released into the blood when necessary (damage to the vessel wall). Due to this property, the damaged vessel is clogged with a forming thrombus and the bleeding stops.
Norms of blood platelets
Norms of blood platelets
180 – 320 × 109 cells / l
Reasons for an increase in platelets
(thrombocytosis, platelet count more than 320 × 109 cells / l)
inflammatory processes (exacerbation of rheumatism, osteomyelitis, abscess, tuberculosis )
different types of anemias (after blood loss, iron deficiency, hemolytic)
cancer of various localization
Decreased platelet count
(thrombocytopenia – less than 180 × 109 cells / l)
congenital blood diseases (hemophilia)
congenital blood diseases (hemophilia) idiopathic autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura
systemic lupus erythematosus
infections (viral and bacterial infections, rickettsiosis, malaria, toxoplasmosis)
paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (autoimmune hemoglobinuria)
Evans syndrome DIC syndrome (disseminated intravascular coagulation)
In premature infants
with hemolytic disease of newborns
renal vein thrombosis
ESR erythrocyte sedimentation rate
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), which allows to evaluate the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) – on plasma and erythrocytes.
The essence of the study: erythrocytes are heavier than plasma and leukocytes, therefore, under the influence of gravity, they sink to the bottom of the test tube. In healthy people, erythrocyte membranes have a negative charge and repel each other, which slows down the rate of sedimentation. But during illness, a number of changes occur in the blood:
The content of fibrinogen, as well as alpha and gamma globulins and C-reactive protein, increases. They accumulate on the surface of erythrocytes and cause them to stick together in the form of coin columns;
The concentration of albumin decreases, which prevents the adhesion of red blood cells;
The electrolyte balance of the blood is disturbed.This leads to a change in the charge of red blood cells, because of which they stop repelling.
As a result, the red blood cells stick together. Clusters are heavier than individual erythrocytes, they sink to the bottom faster, as a result of which the erythrocyte sedimentation rate increases.
There are four groups of diseases that cause increased ESR:
rheumatological (systemic) diseases
What you need to know about ESR
The definition is not a specific analysis.ESR can increase in numerous diseases that cause quantitative and qualitative changes in plasma proteins.
In 2% of patients (even with serious diseases), the ESR level remains normal.
ESR increases not from the first hours, but on the 2nd day of the disease.
After illness, ESR remains elevated for several weeks, sometimes months. This indicates recovery.
Sometimes ESR rises to 100 mm / hour in healthy people.
ESR rises after eating up to 25 mm / hour, so tests must be taken on an empty stomach.
If the temperature in the laboratory is above 24 degrees, then the process of adhesion of erythrocytes is disrupted and the ESR decreases.
ESR – an integral part of the general blood test.
The essence of the method for determining the erythrocyte sedimentation rate?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the Westergren method. It is used by modern laboratories to determine ESR. But in municipal clinics and hospitals, the Panchenkov method is traditionally used.
Westergren’s method. Mix 2 ml of venous blood and 0.5 ml of sodium citrate, an anticoagulant that prevents blood clotting.The mixture is collected in a thin cylindrical tube to a level of 200 mm. The tube is vertically placed in a rack. An hour later, the distance from the upper border of the plasma to the level of erythrocytes is measured in millimeters. Automatic ESR counters are often used. The unit of measurement of ESR is mm / hour.
Panchenkov’s method. Capillary blood from a finger is examined. In a glass pipette with a diameter of 1 mm, a solution of sodium citrate is taken up to the mark of 50 mm. It is blown into a test tube. After that, 2 times with a pipette, take blood and blow it into a test tube to sodium citrate.Thus, the ratio of anticoagulant to blood is 1: 4. This mixture is drawn up into a glass capillary to a level of 100 mm and set in a vertical position. The results are evaluated after one hour, as with the Westergren method.
Westergren’s method, norm: Panchenkov’s method, norm:
children 0-16 years old – 2-10 mm / hour
men under 50 years old – up to 15 mm / hour
men over 50 years old – up to 20 mm / hour
women up to 50 years old – up to 20 mm / hour
women over 50 years old – up to 30 mm / hour
children 0-12 months – 2-10 mm / hour
children 1-16 years old – 2-12 mm / hour
men – 1-10 mm / hour
women – 2-15 mm / hour
Determination according to Westergren is considered a more sensitive technique, therefore the level of ESR is slightly higher than in the study by the Panchenkov method.
Reasons for increased ESR
Reasons for decreased ESR
Physiological (not related to disease) fluctuations in ESR
Menstrual cycle. ESR rises sharply before menstrual bleeding and decreases to normal during menstruation. This is associated with a change in the hormonal and protein composition of the blood at different periods of the cycle.
Pregnancy. ESR increases from the 5th week of pregnancy to the 4th week after delivery. The maximum level of ESR reaches 3-5 days after the birth of the child, which is associated with injuries during childbirth.In normal pregnancy, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate can reach 40 mm / h.
Physiological (not associated with disease) fluctuations in ESR level
Newborns. In infants, ESR is low due to a decrease in fibrinogen levels and a large number of red blood cells in the blood.
Infections and inflammations (bacterial, viral and fungal)
infections of the upper and lower respiratory tract: tonsillitis, tracheitis, bronchitis, pneumonia
otitis media: otitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis
dental diseases: stomatitis, dental granulomas
cardiovascular diseases vascular system: phlebitis, myocardial infarction, acute pericarditis
urinary tract infections: cystitis, urethritis
inflammatory diseases of the pelvic organs: adnexitis, prostatitis, salpingitis, endometritis
inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract: cholecystitis, colitis, pancreatitis, abscess
peptic ulcer and peptic ulcer
connective tissue diseases: collagenoses
systemic fungal infections
Reasons for a decrease in ESR:
recovery from a recent viral infection
astheno-neurotic syndrome, exhaustion of the nervous system: fatigue, lethargy, headaches
cachexia – extreme
long-term use of glucocorticoids, which led to inhibition of the anterior pituitary gland
hyperglycemia – high blood sugar content
blood clotting disorders
severe traumatic brain injury and concussion.
malignant tumors of any localization
oncological diseases of the blood
Rheumatological (autoimmune) diseases
– systemic lupus erythematosus
sulfanilamide drugs – sulfasalazine, salazopyrine
immunosuppressants – penicillamine
hormonal drugs – tamoxifen, nolvadex
chronic cerebral insufficiency 9060 nephritis wounds
Medicines that can cause an increase in ESR:
It must be remembered that uncomplicated viral infections do not cause an increase in ESR.This diagnostic sign helps to determine that the disease is caused by bacteria. Therefore, with an increase in ESR, antibiotics are often prescribed.
Slow erythrocyte sedimentation rate is 1-4 mm / h. This reaction occurs when the level of fibrinogen, which is responsible for blood clotting, decreases. And also with an increase in the negative charge of erythrocytes as a result of changes in the electrolyte balance of the blood.
It should be noted that taking these drugs can cause a falsely low ESR result in bacterial infections and rheumatoid diseases.
What is a general urine test for?
It shows how the entire urinary system works, which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urinary tract. In this case, the total amount of secretions is not too important. The general analysis of urine provides for the determination of color, relative density, urine reaction, the presence of protein, sugar, salts in it. Microscopy of the sediment is also carried out to determine the number of erythrocytes, leukocytes and other elements. The general analysis of urine includes the determination of its acid-base state.Normally, urine is acidic, but sometimes people eat foods that contain a lot of alkaline salts, such as sorrel. Drinks also come in both acidic and alkaline varieties. Therefore, it is important to find out if the kidneys do a good job of keeping the urine acidic.
A urinalysis can be used to determine if the kidneys are performing their function, i.e. whether they are able to sufficiently filter metabolic products harmful to the body from the blood and, conversely, whether they do not remove substances that are necessary and useful for the body. This is evidenced by the density or specific gravity of urine.The more substances dissolved in urine, the higher its density and vice versa. The density of urine depends on many reasons: on the nature of the diet, on what a person ate during the day and before going to bed, whether he got up to use the toilet at night, etc.
The kidneys work most actively after 2-3 o’clock in the morning. A general analysis of urine is collected from the night, because it is concentrated in the body precisely at night. And what is collected in the urine overnight will have a very significant effect later on the results of the analysis. Before collecting urine, it is imperative to wash the external genitals with warm water so that microbes and dead cells from their surface do not spoil the picture.For urine analysis, there must be at least 100 ml. Women should not donate urine three days before, during and after menstruation: the discharge that gets into it will give an absolutely wrong result.
What disease is indicated by the presence of protein or glucose in the urine?
According to the analysis, it is determined whether there is protein, glucose in the urine and, if they are, then very approximately within what limits the protein or glucose content is. In principle, neither one nor the other should be in the urine. The presence of protein or glucose in the urine is a sign of illness.If the kidneys are leaking protein, then their function is impaired. And glucose can indicate diabetes mellitus or urinary diabetes, when blood sugar is normal, but it appears in the urine.
The functional unit of the kidney is the nephron. It consists of a glomerulus and tubules, and after the nephron there is a section that is responsible for the reabsorption of glucose. If something does not work in this area, as well as during excessive physical exertion or when a person has eaten too much sweets, blood sugar does not seem to rise, and its excess is excreted in the urine.
After examining the liquid part of the urine, the sediment is examined, which is separated using a centrifuge. The sediment is very important for diagnosis because it contains cells excreted in the urine. It is important to know what kind of cells are there and in what quantity. For this, cells of different types are counted in the field of view of the microscope.
Most importantly, urinalysis informs the doctor about the possible presence of an infection in the urinary tract, which is confirmed by an increased number of leukocytes. Erythrocytes should not be at all, sometimes they are only in women due to the peculiarities of their physiology.From which cells of the epithelium (cylinders of different types) prevail, it is possible to determine in which place the inflammation occurs.
What are biochemical tests for?
Biochemical analyzes allow to evaluate the work of many internal organs: liver, pancreas, kidneys, they also give an idea of the characteristics of lipid metabolism (it is directly related to atherosclerosis), protein and carbohydrate (glucose) metabolism. Biochemical analyzes can reveal cardiological, urological, gastroenterological, gynecological, ENT diseases, etc.Currently, without these tests, serious cases will not be diagnosed by any clinician in most areas of medicine. In addition, biochemical analysis shows which trace elements are lacking in the body. This is mainly a biochemical blood test, but there are a number of studies that are carried out in urine, complementing a general blood test.
Biochemical blood test allows you to judge the metabolism, the functioning of the kidneys, liver, pancreas and heart. For example, bilirubin rises with jaundice.If they do not cope with the work of the kidneys, the level of urea and creatinine rises. Total protein decreases with inflammation and high fever.
Rules for taking biochemical blood tests
Biochemistry should be taken strictly on an empty stomach, otherwise most of the indicators will creep up. The period of abstinence from food should be 8 – 12 hours. The last crumb can be taken in your mouth at 19 o’clock, and after that you can only drink pure water. One or two days before the tests, you should not drink alcohol, eat fried food.If you have not specifically discussed with the doctor the intake of the medicines prescribed for you, which maintain your condition at a certain level, then you need to take the medicine with clean water.