What is hct in blood test results: What do your hematocrit test results mean?
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.
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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.
Definition, low levels, high levels, and more
Hematocrit is the percentage of red blood cells in a person’s blood. Low red blood cell levels indicate conditions such as anemia. High red blood cell levels could signal polycythemia, which can increase a person’s chance of developing a blood clot.
If a person feels tired, dizzy, or short of breath, a doctor may want to test their hematocrit levels to see if those levels fall into a normal range or not.
Both high and low hematocrit levels can be detrimental to a person’s health, and can result from a variety of conditions and lifestyle factors.
Read on to learn more about what this measure of red blood cell volume means, symptoms of abnormal levels, and what low and high levels might indicate.
Hematocrit is a measure of the percentage of red blood cells in the body. For example: if a person has 50 milliliters (ml) of red blood cells in 100 ml of blood, their hematocrit level is 50%.
Red blood cells transport oxygen around the body and give blood its characteristic red color. In addition to oxygen, they also contain hemoglobin, a protein that binds to oxygen molecules. This allows red blood cells to pick up hemoglobin from the lungs and deliver it throughout the body.
Having an adequate amount of red blood cells is essential to keep the body’s processes running smoothly.
However, the percentage of red blood cells in someone’s blood can change depending on a variety of lifestyle factors and even environmental changes. According to research, red blood cell counts tend to increase at high altitude.
Exercise, particularly strength training, may also affect hematocrit levels. A 2018 study found that females who participated in 16 weeks of strength exercise had lower levels at the end compared when they started. However, the study had a small sample size of 26 middle-aged, sedentary Turkish women. This means that these findings aren’t necessarily representative of a wider population.
There are many conditions that can affect red blood cell production or their life cycle. This can make it difficult for a medical professional to diagnose these conditions. A doctor will use a hematocrit test to confirm whether a person’s red blood cell count is affecting a health condition.
Doctors usually test hematocrit levels as part of a complete blood count (CBC).
A CBC is composed of a range of tests, and may include:
- red blood cell count
- reticulocyte count (young red blood cells)
- an analysis of hemoglobin levels
- an analysis of red blood cells, including size and shape
- white blood cell tests
- platelet tests
A doctor will also take into consideration a person’s sex, race, and age. It is important to note that certain blood-related conditions, such as sickle-cell anemia, affect particular demographic groups at higher rates.
Learn more about sickle cell anemia in African Americans here.
Dehydration can raise hematocrit levels, so this test is useful if a doctor suspects severe dehydration is the cause of a person’s symptoms.
A doctor may request frequent hematocrit tests to monitor the effect of chemotherapy on person’s bone marrow.
Normal hematocrit levels are:
Newborn babies have high hematocrit levels that gradually decrease as they get older.
If a person has recently received a blood transfusion, it may affect their results. Additionally, pregnant individuals may have lower levels than usual because the body increases its blood volume during pregnancy.
Other factors may push levels into a higher range, such as smoking and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
When a person has low hematocrit levels they tend to present with the following symptoms:
- pale complexion
- low energy
- trouble breathing
- irregular heartbeat
- cold hands or feet
These symptoms also indicate anemia, a condition where hemoglobin levels are lower than normal. Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body.
Mild anemia is treatable, and it is particularly common in women. Severe anemia could signal a more serious underlying health condition that requires more extensive treatment.
Doctors associate anemia with several health conditions that include:
A person may lack B12, folate, or iron in their diet.
Learn more about how nutrient deficiency anemia is diagnosed and treated.
This commonly occurs due to digestive tract ulcers, which are sores caused by the bacteria H.pylori or chronic use of anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and aspirin. Many women also experience excessive blood loss from heavy menstrual bleeding.
Bone marrow disorder
This includes aplastic anemia, which damages stem cells in bone marrow.
These are cancers that spread to bone marrow, such as leukemia and lymphoma.
Learn more about bone marrow cancers here.
Kidney disease can lower the production of red blood cells, reducing hematocrit levels.
When a person has this condition, their body does not produce enough hemoglobin.
Learn more about thalassemia here.
Sickle cell anemia
This condition changes the shape of red blood cells. These cells die earlier than normal, and they also clump together, which impairs blood flow.
Learn more about sickle cell anemia here.
Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus may reduce red blood cell count.
Learn more about autoimmune diseases here.
When a person has high hematocrit levels they tend to present with these symptoms:
- flushed skin
- vision problems
- enlarged spleen
These symptoms signal polycythemia, a condition where the body produces too many red blood cells. This means blood is thicker and clots more easily.
Doctors cannot cure polycythemia, so treatment tends to focus on symptom management. The main goal is to avoid stroke and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is a blood clot usually occurring in a deep vein in the leg.
In some cases, dehydration causes polycythemia. When a person does not drink enough, their plasma levels drop, and this increases the proportion of red blood cells in their blood volume. A person can lower their red blood cell count by rehydrating.
Some conditions that can cause high hematocrit levels include:
Lung or pulmonary disease
When the lungs cannot absorb oxygen effectively and oxygen levels drop, the body compensates by making more red blood cells. One common pulmonary disease causing this is COPD.
Learn more about COPD here.
If the structure of a person’s heart reduces its ability to pump blood around the body, it can no longer sustain vital organs with oxygen. To try and overcome the oxygen deficit the body produces more red blood cells.
Learn more about heart disease here.
Sometimes kidney cancer cells create more erythropoietin. Erythropoietin is a hormone that tells the bone marrow to create more red blood cells.
Learn more about kidney cancer here.
The JAK2 gene, which controls the number of blood cells made in the bone marrow, can affect certain conditions. When someone has a mutated JAK2 gene, the body could make a protein that signals the bone marrow to create more red blood cells than it needs.
Learn more about genetic disorders here.
A person should speak with a doctor if they are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above that could be a sign of high or low hematocrit levels, including fatigue, weakness, vision problems, and dizziness.
These symptoms can also indicate an underlying condition, so it is important that a person contact a doctor in a timely manner to prevent future complications.
If a person is receiving chemotherapy treatment, a doctor should perform regular hematocrit tests to monitor bone marrow health.
Hematocrit is the percentage of blood cells in a person’s blood volume. A doctor may choose to test an individual’s hematocrit level due to certain symptoms.
A low hematocrit level means the are too few red blood cells in the body. In these cases, a person may experience symptoms that signal anemia. Common symptoms include fatigue, weakness, and low energy.
If a person has too many red blood cells, they have a high hematocrit level. A person may experience dizziness and headaches, which can be a sign of the condition polycythemia.
Demographic and lifestyle factors can influence a person’s hematocrit levels. For example, males tend to have higher levels than females. Pregnant individuals can experience a decrease in hematocrit levels, and strength training may also reduce levels.
There are also a number of health conditions that can cause hematocrit levels outside the normal range. Excessive bleeding, thalassemia, and kidney disease are causes of low levels. COPD and sickle cell anemia can cause high levels.
Hematocrit | Lab Tests Online
Sources Used in Current Review
2019 review by Erika B. Deaton-Mohney MT(ASCP), CPP and the Editorial Review Board.
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Harmening D. Clinical Hematology and Fundamentals of Hemostasis. Fifth Edition, F.A. Davis Company, Piladelphia, 2009, Pp 82-85,771-773.
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Purpose, What It Measures, and Normal Results
What Is a Complete Blood Count?
A complete blood count (CBC) is a test that counts the cells that make up your blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Your doctor may order a CBC as part of a routine checkup or to:
- Check for anemia, a condition that causes you to have fewer red blood cells than usual
- Find out if you have another health issue or to explain symptoms like weakness, fever, bruising, or feeling tired
- Keep an eye on a blood condition
- See how medications, medical conditions, or treatments like chemotherapy are affecting your blood
How Is a CBC Done?
If the CBC is the only blood test you’re having, you can eat and drink like you usually would.
Your part of the test is simple and takes just a few minutes. A nurse or lab tech will take a sample of blood by putting a needle into a vein in your arm. Afterward, you can leave and get back to your routine. They’ll send the blood to a lab for review.
What Does a CBC Measure?
The test can tell your doctor a lot about your overall health. It measures:
- White blood cells (WBCs). These help your body fight germs. If you have too many of them, it could be a sign of inflammation, infection, a medical reaction, or another health condition. If it’s low, you could be at a higher risk for infection. A medication, a viral infection, or a bone marrow disease could also cause a low count.
- Red blood cells (RBC). These deliver oxygen throughout your body. They also help carry carbon dioxide. If your RBC count is too low, you may have anemia or another condition.
- Hemoglobin (Hb or Hgb). This is the protein in your blood that holds oxygen.
- Hematocrit (Hct). This test tells how much of your blood is made up of red blood cells. A low score may be a sign that you don’t have enough iron, the mineral that helps your body make red blood cells. A high score could mean you’re dehydrated or have another condition.
- Mean corpuscular volume (MCV). This is the average size of your red blood cells. If they’re bigger than usual, your MCV will be higher. That could happen if you have low vitamin B12 or folate levels. If your red blood cells are smaller, you could have a type of anemia.
- Platelets. These help your blood clot.
When you get your report, you’ll see two columns: a “reference range” and your results. If your results are inside the reference range, they’re considered normal. If your results are higher or lower than the reference range, they’re abnormal. Mild anemia is one of the most common reasons your results might be off.
Each lab has different ways of studying your blood. So the reference range will depend on the lab that handles your blood tests. It’s also based on things that can affect your blood like your age, your sex, and how high above sea level you live.
In general, the reference ranges are:
- White blood cells: 4,500 to 11,000 cells per microliter (cells/mcL)
- Red blood cells: 4.5 million to 5.9 million cells/mcL for men; 4.1 million to 5.1 million cells/mcL for women
- Hemoglobin: 14 to 17.5 grams per deciliter (gm/dL) for men; 12.3 to 15.3 gm/dL for women
- Hematocrit: 41.5% to 50.4% for men; 35.9% to 44.6% for women
- Mean corpuscular volume: 80 to 96
- Platelets: 150,000 to 450,000 platelets/mcL
What Else Might My CBC Tell Me?
Your doctor might order more results to learn whether you have an illness or blood condition, including:
- Mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH). This test tells how much hemoglobin is in your typical red blood cell.
- Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC). This measures the concentration of hemoglobin in a certain amount of blood.
- Red cell distribution width (RDW). This shows how your much your red blood cells vary in size.
- Reticulocyte count. This test measures the number of new red blood cells in your body.
- Mean platelet volume (MPV). This result gives the average size of the platelets in your blood.
- Platelet distribution width (PDW). This shows how much your platelets vary in size.
- White blood cell differential. There are five types of white blood cells: basophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, and neutrophils. This test shows how many of each kind you have.
Hemoglobin and Hematocrit – Clinical Methods
Hemoglobin (Hb) is the protein contained in red blood cells that is responsible for delivery of oxygen to the tissues. To ensure adequate tissue oxygenation, a sufficient hemoglobin level must be maintained. The amount of hemoglobin in whole blood is expressed in grams per deciliter (g/dl). The normal Hb level for males is 14 to 18 g/dl; that for females is 12 to 16 g/dl. When the hemoglobin level is low, the patient has anemia. An erythrocytosis is the consequence of too many red cells; this results in hemoglobin levels above normal.
The hematocrit measures the volume of red blood cells compared to the total blood volume (red blood cells and plasma). The normal hematocrit for men is 40 to 54%; for women it is 36 to 48%. This value can be determined directly by microhematocrit centrifugation or calculated indirectly. Automated cell counters calculate the hematocrit by multiplying the red cell number (in millions/mm3) by the mean cell volume (MCV, in femtoliters). When so assayed, it is subject to the vagaries inherent in obtaining an accurate measurement of the MCV (see Chapter 152).
Both the hemoglobin and the hematocrit are based on whole blood and are therefore dependent on plasma volume. If a patient is severely dehydrated, the hemoglobin and hematocrit will appear higher than if the patient were normovolemic; if the patient is fluid overloaded, they will be lower than their actual level. To assess true red cell mass, independent radionuclide evaluation of the red cells and plasma (by 51Cr and 131I respectively) must be performed.
If the hematocrit must be determined quickly, as is often the case when a patient hemorrhages, it may be necessary to measure the hematocrit directly without the use of an automated counter. The materials needed are:
Alcohol prep pads
Microhematocrit tubes (heparinized)
Sealant (“Seal-Ease,” “Crit-Seal,” etc)
If venipuncture is required: tourniquet, syringe, tube containing anticoagulant (EDTA, citrate)
For hematocrits obtained by fingerstick, wipe the fingertip pad of the fourth finger of the nondominant hand with the alcohol prep pad. Make certain the area is allowed to dry. Prick the fingertip with the lancet. Place the hematocrit tube near the incision site and allow the blood to flow via capillary action into the hematocrit tube until it is two-thirds to three-fourths full or to a predesignated mark on the tube. Avoid “milking” the finger if possible; this causes the expression of tissue fluids and may result in a falsely low hematocrit. Always fill at least three tubes. For hematocrits obtained by venipuncture, draw a sample of blood into the tube containing anticoagulant and mix well. Dip the hematocrit tube into the blood and allow the blood to rise to the desired two-thirds to three-quarters level. Because blood cells naturally sediment, a prior thorough mixing of the blood in the tube is necessary to ensure accurate reading.
After cleaning the outside of the hematocrit tubes of excess blood, invert the tube slowly so that the blood migrates just short of the bottom end of the tube. Seal the bottom of the tube with sealant. Make certain that little or no air is interspersed in the column of blood. If the seal is incomplete, leakage will occur during centrifugation and false readings will be obtained.
Place the tubes in a microhematocrit centrifuge and spin for 3 to 5 minutes at high speed. A shorter spin will not allow for complete sedimentation.
Using either a hematocrit reader or any ruled apparatus, measure the length of the column of the packed red cells and divide it by the length of the whole column of blood (cells and plasma), as in . To obtain the hematocrit, multiply this number by 100%. Average all readings obtained from the different microhematocrit tubes.
Microhematocrit tube after sedimentation. The hematocrit is a ratio of the packed cells to total volume.
Example: If the column of packed red cells measures 20 mm and the whole blood column measures 50 mm, the hematocrit is 20/50 = 0.4 or (0.4 × 100%) = 40%.
Hemoglobin determinations will usually be performed by an automated cell counter from a tube of well-mixed EDTA-anticoagulated blood filled to a predetermined level. In this assay, all forms of hemoglobins are converted to the colored protein cyanomethemoglobin and measured by a colorimeter. An inadequate sample, whether due to insufficient volume or inadequate anticoagulation, may give false readings. If it is necessary to determine the level of anemia quickly, the hematocrit is an easier, more convenient test.
Hemoglobin electrophoresis measures the mobility of hemoglobin in an electric field; it can therefore detect only those abnormalities in hemoglobin that alter the charge. Electrophoretic mobilities are affected by pH and by the medium in which the test is conducted. Screening tests typically use a hemolysate of anticoagulated blood electrophoresed on cellulose acetate at pH 8.6 to 8.8. If necessary, a further electrophoresis in starch gel at pH 6.2 to 6.8 is performed. At that stage, the work will usually be performed by a specialized laboratory.
Hemoglobin electrophoresis will not readily assess situations where there are neutral amino acid substitutions or where the hemoglobin is normal but the constituent chains are not produced in equal numbers (thalassemias). The diagnosis of alpha thalassemia of a mild to moderate degree cannot be made by hemoglobin electrophoresis; the diagnosis of beta thalassemia may be made by inference from an increase in the Hb A2.
A standard electrophoresis would look like .
A standard hemoglobin electrophoresis (cellulose acetate, pH 8.6).
The molecular weight of hemoglobin is approximately 64,500 daltons. Hb is composed of two pairs of dissimilar chains, α and β, each defined by a specific amino acid sequence and incorporating an iron-containing heme group. Two α–β dimers combine to form a hemoglobin tetramer. This allows for the “heme–heme” interaction necessary for effective oxygen uptake (deoxyhemoglobin → oxyhemoglobin) and delivery (oxyhemoglobin → deoxyhemoglobin). The oxygen affinity of hemoglobin is a function of this heme–heme interaction and of pH (Bohr effect), and is a measure of how many hemoglobin molecules have oxygen bound to them for a given level of oxygen tension. In a normal individual the major hemoglobin is Hb A, constituting approximately 97% of the total hemoglobin. Variations and/or amino acid substitutions in these chains exist. Some are deleterious to the normal function of hemoglobin, whereas others may have relatively normal oxygen affinity and stability. Hemoglobins containing different types of chains make up the remainder of the hemoglobin content in red cells (α2δ2 = Hb A2 approximately 2%; α2γ2 = Hb F approximately 1%).
Substitutions in the normal hemoglobin amino acid sequence may result in hemoglobins that have different sub-unit interactions and varying affinities for oxygen. For example, a substitution of the sixth amino acid on the beta chain causes Hb S, or sickle hemoglobin. Hb S has a lower oxygen affinity and surrenders its oxygen more readily. Hb F, a normal minor hemoglobin constituent, has a higher oxygen affinity.
If the oxygen dissociation curve is abnormal, the body will adjust the hemoglobin level to ensure adequate oxygen distribution to the tissues. Thus in a rare disease like hemoglobin Hotel Dieu, the difficulty in extracting oxygen from a variant hemoglobin with increased oxygen affinity could result in a lack of oxygen for the tissues (tissue hypoxia) and a compensatory erythrocytosis. The smaller fraction of oxygen released from the hemoglobin is thereby offset by the increased number of hemoglobin molecules. Similarly, in sickle cell anemia, the decreased oxygen affinity allows these patients more tissue oxygen at any given hemoglobin level.
Many anemias are detected by routine laboratory screening performed before the patient is symptomatic. When the patient does have symptoms from an abnormality in the hemoglobin level, the symptoms are often a nonspecific weakness or fatigue. The only finding on physical examination may be pallor; additional changes in the nail beds (such as spooning), glossitis (red tongue), or hepatosplenomegaly (enlarged liver or spleen) may give a clue to the etiology of the anemia. Symptoms are usually related to the level of hemoglobin, its abruptness of onset and its duration. A patient with pernicious anemia may feel well at the same level of hemoglobin that would cause severe weakness in a patient with acute gastrointestinal hemorrhage. This is due to volume compensation by plasma and shifts in the oxygen dissociation curve which occur over time.
When first confronted with an abnormal hemoglobin or hematocrit level, the next step is to assess the red cell indices (see Chapter 152), peripheral smear (Chapter 155), and the reticulocyte count (Chapter 156) in light of the patient’s history and physical examination.
- Adamson JW, Finch CA. Hemoglobin function, oxygen affinity and erythropoietin. Annu Rev Physiol. 1975;37:351. [PubMed: 235878]
Bunn HF. Hemoglobin I. Structure and function. In: Beck WS, Hematology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1981;129.
Hematocrit Test | HCIT | CRIT
what is haematocrit (hct / crit)?
The Haematocrit (Ht or HCT) or packed cell volume is the ratio of blood volume occupied by red blood cells. It is an essential component of an individuals blood count, along with haemoglobin concentration, white blood cell count, and platelet count.
Haematocrit is ascertained by spinning heparinized blood in a capillary tube. Haematocrit increases when the amount of red blood cells increase or when the volume of plasma is reduced, like in dehydration. Low Haematocrit indicates the body reduced production of red blood cells or when large amounts of blood is lost due to bleeding indicating anaemia.
Low Haematocrit simply means that the red blood cells is below the normal limits for that person’s age, gender and weight. The main low haematocrit causes are as follows;
- Bleeding due to ulcers, trauma, colon cancer and internal building.
- Destruction of red blood cells in diseases like sickle cell anaemia and enlarged spleen.
- Decreased production of red blood cells due to various factors like bone marrow suppression, cancer and as reaction to certain types of medication.
- Poor nutrition leading to low levels of Iron, B12 and folate is one of the chief contributing low haematocrit cause.
Low Haematocrit Symptoms
The common low haematocrit symptoms includes;
- Shortness of breath
- Low energy levels
A high Haematocrit level indicates to the higher percentage of red blood cells in the blood, in regards to the Haematocrit normal value for that person’s age, sex and weight. The primary high haematocrit causes are as follows;
- Low oxygen level
- Genetic problems like congenital heart disease
- polycythemia Vera
- Chronic Sleep Apnoea
- Pulmonary Embolism
High Haematocrit Symptoms
The main high haematocrit symptoms are as follows;
- Blood clot formation
- Easy bruising
what is haematocrit blood test?
Haematocrit blood test, also called Packed – cell volume test (PCV Test), is a simple blood test that ascertains what percentage of the whole blood does the erythrocytes or red blood cells consists of. The blood is composed of erythrocytes, red blood cells, leukocytes or white blood cells and thrombocytes or platelets, all these together form 45% of the blood while the rest of the 55% of blood is composed of plasma, and as such it is imperative to find out what percentage of erythrocytes (vital oxygen carrying cells) is present in the blood.
Too low or too high percentage of erythrocytes could be indicative of various health issues like anaemia being one of them.
Haematocrit Normal Value
Haematocrit normal range varies and is depended upon varied factors like gender, weight and age. As such the Haematocrit normal range for men is between 40% to 54% of erythrocytes and for women the Haematocrit normal range is between 37% to 48%.
why get tested?
The Haematocrit test is generally ordered along with the complete blood count (CBC). The test helps in the assesment of:
- Anemia (Condition in which erythrocytes are reduced in number or volume or are deficient in hemoglobin)
- polycythemia ( A disease state in which the proportion of blood volume that is occupied by red blood cells increases)
- Response to treatment of anemia or polycythemias
- Blood transfusion decisions for severe symptomatic anemia’s
- The effectiveness of those transfusions
reason to take hematocrit (hct / crit) test
Symptoms associated and observed are:
- Feeling of tiredness or weakness (fatigue)
- Lack of energy headache
- Feeling of cold or numbness in hands and/or feet
- Pale complexion
- Shortness of breath
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Excessive loss of water Brittle nails
preparations needed for hematocrit (hct / crit) test
Preparatory instructions before the test *:
No Fasting Required.
No other special preparations required.
Specimen type: EDTA (Blood Sample)
Specimen collection procedure: Venipuncture – Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm.
how can we help?
You no longer need to break a sweat to get your haematocrit test, by looking around for reliable pathological labs and then waiting to get tested, just give us a call and our representative phlebotomist would be there at your home at a time and day of your convenience to collect the required blood sample.
We would also home deliver your haematocrit test reports to you. Portea is the leading at home healthcare services provider with highly reliable and certified healthcare services ranging from doctor’s consultation, nursing services to therapies and lab tests. So you can trust us with providing you the best home haematocrit test, so you can spend your time with a loved one rather running from pillar to post.
Understanding results ofHematocrit (HCT / CRIT)
|35 – 45 %||6 Years. 1 month – 12 Years|
|34 – 40 %||2 Years – 6 Years|
|30 – 38 %||6.5 months – 1 Yr. 11 months|
|30 – 40 %||3 months – 6 months|
|28 – 42 %||2 months – 2.5 months|
|31 – 71 %||Day 14 – Day 29|
|33 – 53 %||1 months – 1.5 months|
|42 – 66 %||Day 7 – Day 13|
|45 – 67 %||Day 3 – Day 6|
|36 – 46 %||Adolescent Female|
|45 – 75 %||Day 1 – Day 2|
|37 – 49 %||Adolescent Male|
|40 to 54%||Male|
|35 to 47%||Female|
‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’
Understanding your Pets Blood Test Results — Leelanau Veterinary Care
Leelanau Veterinary Care
Understanding your Pet’s Blood Work Results
Blood tests help a doctor determine the causes of illness accurately, safely and quickly and help to monitor the progress of medical treatments and conditions. The following guide explains common test results to help you better understand your pet’s health and the care recommendations.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
A CBC gives the information on hydration status, anemia, infection, the blood’s clotting ability, and the ability of the immune system to respond. This test is essential for pets that are not feeling well with symptoms such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, pale gums, loss of appetite, or just not feeling well in general. If your pet needs surgery, a CBC can help to detect bleeding disorders and other unseen abnormalities.
HCT/PCV (hematocrit/packed cell volume) measures the percentage of your pet’s red blood cells. This test helps to detect anemia, bleeding episodes, and dehydration. Normal in a cat is above 28 and in dogs above 35.
HGB and MCHC (hemoglobin and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration) are the oxygen carrying pigments of red blood cells.
RETICS (reticulocytes) are immature or new red blood cells. High levels indicate regenerative anemia or signs of recent bleeding.
WBD (white blood cell count) measures the body’s immune and infection fighting cells. Increases or decreases indicate certain diseases such as cancer/leukemia or infections.
NEU, LYM, MONO (neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes) are specific types of white blood cells which fight infection. If these are elevated it can indicate an infection or cancer.
EOS (eosinophils) are a specific type of white blood cells the if elevated may indicate allergic or parasitic conditions.
PLT (platelet count) measures the cells that help form blood clots and control bleeding.
These are common blood serum tests that evaluate organ function, electrolyte status, hormone levels, and more. These tests are important in evaluating older pets, pets that are ill, pets receiving long-term medications, and pets undergoing sedation or anesthesia. The tests are also very important as a regular screening evaluation of your pet’s health status.
ALB (albumin) is a serum protein that helps evaluate hydration, hemorrhage, and intestinal, liver, and kidney disease.
ALKP (alkaline phosphatase) elevations may indicate liver damage, Cushing’s disease, and active bone growth in young pets. This test is significant in cats especially. A slight elevation may be normal in some pets, especially older pets.
ALT (alanine aminotransferase) is a sensitive indicator of active liver damage but doesn’t indicate the cause. A slight elevation may be normal in some pets, especially older pets.
AMYL (amylase) elevations show pancreatitis or kidney disease.
BUN (blood urea nitrogen) indicates kidney function. An increased blood level is called azotemia and can be caused by kidney, liver, and heart disease, urethral obstruction shock and dehydration.
CA (calcium) deviations can indicate a variety of diseases. Tumors, hyperparathyroidism, kidney disease, and low albumin are just a few of the conditions that alter serum calcium.
CHOL (cholesterol) is used to supplement diagnosis of hypothyroidism, liver disease, Cushing’s disease, and diabetes mellitus,
CREA (creatinine) indicates kidney function. This test helps distinguish between kidney and non-kidney causes of elevated BUN. An indicator of kidney function.
GLOB (globulin) is a blood protein that often increases with chronic inflammation and certain disease states.
GLU (glucose) is a blood sugar. Elevated levels may indicate diabetes mellitus. Low levels can cause collapse, seizures, or coma. When a pet is nervous, the blood glucose can be normally elevated. In dogs blood glucose should be under 180 and in cats under 250.
K (potassium) is an electrolyte lost with vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive urination. Increased levels may indicate kidney failure, Addison’s disease, dehydration, and urethral obstruction. Excessively high levels can lead to cardiac arrest.
AML (amylase) is an enzyme that may indicate infection or inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) in dogs.
Na (sodium) is an electrolyte lost with vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney and Addison’s disease. This test also helps indicate hydration status.
PHOS (phosphorus) elevations are often associated with kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and bleeding disorders. An elevation in this value also may indicate active bone growth in young dogs.
TBIL (total bilirubin) elevations may indicate liver or blood hemolytic disease. This test helps identify bile duct problems and certain types of anemia.
TP (total protein) can indicate your pet’s hydration status and provides additional information about the liver, kidneys, and infectious diseases.
T4 (thyroxine) is a thyroid hormone. Decreased levels often signal hypothyroidism in dogs, while high levels indicate hyperthyroidism in cats.
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 red blood cells occupy 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.
A hematocrit level above 55% requires finding out 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.
- Erythrocyte count, hemoglobin and hematocrit are largely 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, internist, hematologist, nephrologist, surgeon.
90,000 Analysis for Hematocrit – what is it, what does
Hematocrit – what is it, what does it depend on
Analysis for hematocrit gives data on the ratio of the volume of red blood cells to the total volume of blood, occasionally this indicator means the ratio of the volume of all formed elements to the total volume.There is no particular difference between the interpretations, 99% of the volume of blood cells is in red cells. More often, the hematocrit is recorded as a percentage of the total volume, less often – in the form of the ratio of the volume of cells to the total volume of blood.
This indicator is determined as part of a complete blood count. It refers to secondary, calculated on the basis of data on the number of red blood cells. Occasionally, a direct measurement of hematocrit is carried out by centrifuging the sample taken.This procedure allows you to separate the plasma from the corpuscles and directly measure this indicator.
Indications and preparation for analysis
The indications for the analysis of hematocrit are symptoms indicating the development of anemia or other diseases of the blood, hematopoietic system. These include:
- Pallor or yellowness of the skin
- Enlargement of the spleen, liver
- Changes in the size of the lymph nodes
- Digestive disorders
- Problems with the skin and hair (rashes, ulcers on the mucous membranes, hair loss or brittleness)
In addition to detecting anemia, the analysis allows you to identify other diseases, for example, polycythemia (a chronic disease in which the bone marrow produces an excessive amount of red blood cells) of various origins.Also, this study is used when it is necessary to assess the need for blood transfusion, to calculate the required volume of transfusion.
No special preparation is required for the hematocrit test. The standard rules for conducting a general blood test must be followed:
- Blood is taken early in the morning.
- Do not eat 6-10 hours before the test.
- Avoid alcohol 2-3 days before the procedure.
Patients who smoke are advised to refrain from smoking for at least 2-3 hours prior to blood sampling.If these recommendations are not followed, the analysis may give unreliable results. This is due to the fact that the composition of the blood is subject to strong fluctuations depending on the action of various environmental factors.
Blood test for hematocrit
Manipulation is performed in the morning, blood is drawn from a vein or from a finger. At the Medart clinic, the most modern equipment is used for the analysis, so more often the fence is performed from a vein.
To obtain the material, special vacuum containers (vacutainers) are used.This is a modern syringe replacement that provides a number of benefits for the patient:
- Virtually painless procedure.
- Minimum time to obtain the correct amount of blood.
- Accurate calculation of the amount of reagent and blood.
- The minimum time to conduct the study and issue the results to the patient.
Modern technologies allow manipulation as quickly as possible, without health consequences.
The normal level of hematocrit depends on the age, sex of a person.For a mature woman, it is 37-50%, for a man 34-45%. For newborns, this figure can be higher and ranges from 35 to 65%. In the process of growing up, the hematocrit decreases, reaching minimum levels in the elderly. This is the result of a decrease in bone marrow activity and a decrease in the production of blood cell elements.
A decrease in the normal hematocrit in women is associated with regular blood loss during menstruation. High values in children are a manifestation of active processes of development of the red bone marrow and other hematopoietic organs.
It is important to take into account that after massive blood loss, blood transfusions, the determination of the hematocrit level will give a result with a large error. For a reliable assessment of this indicator in such cases, it is necessary to wait a certain time.
It may take up to 3 months for the full physiological restoration of the level of red blood cells to normal values. This period is the life cycle of erythrocytes, during which the cellular composition of the blood is renewed.
An increase in the level of erythrocytes revealed in the analysis for hematocrit may indicate various pathological conditions.The most common:
- Primary erythrocytosis. It occurs as a result of overactive production of erythrocytes, including immature forms. May indicate the development of tumors in the bone marrow.
- Secondary erythrocytosis. It develops as a consequence of pathologies of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems (heart defects, respiratory failure).
- Decrease in plasma volume. May indicate the development of peritonitis, leukemia, kidney disease. Often occurs with extensive burns, when blood plasma flows through the damaged dermis.
- Dehydration. It is observed in uncompensated diabetes mellitus, can result from diarrhea, vomiting, excessive sweating and a lack of fluid in the diet.
Erythrocytosis can develop in heavy smokers, especially if smoking has led to secondary lesions of the respiratory system and heart. In this case, the body turns on the mechanisms of compensation for insufficient oxygenation due to a significant increase in the number of red cells.
An increase in hematocrit is not always a consequence of disease.An increase in the number of red blood cells is considered normal for mountain residents, professional climbers. With a sufficiently long stay in high altitude conditions, the body compensates for the lack of oxygen and atmospheric pressure by increasing the production of red blood cells.
Erythrocytosis is often asymptomatic, detected by chance, when taking a blood test for other reasons. Only with a significant increase in hematocrit are observed:
- Pain in joints, muscles.
- Shortness of breath.
- High blood pressure.
- Tinnitus and dizziness.
- Excessive sweating, sleep disturbances.
These symptoms are not specific, therefore, if such ailments appear, you should consult a doctor for further diagnosis.
To restore the physiological level of hematocrit, it is required to find out the reason that led to the increase in the number of blood corpuscles and eliminate it. For example, if erythrocytosis was caused by dehydration (lack of water in the body – dehydration), it is enough to restore the normal amount of fluid to normalize this indicator.
There is no need to self-medicate, only a specialist can determine the exact cause of the hematocrit growth and prescribe the correct diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, for any changes in the blood test, you need to consult with a specialist and strictly follow the recommendations received.
The main reason for the decrease in hematocrit is anemia. There are many reasons for the development of these diseases, the most common are:
- Disorders in the process of erythrocyte maturation.Associated with a lack of iron and B vitamins in food or their insufficient absorption from the digestive system. Less commonly, it occurs with the development of malignant tumors, whose cells compete with healthy ones and intensively absorb vitamins and minerals.
- Abundant blood loss as a result of trauma or surgical procedures. Loss of blood does not always have to be immediate, the cause may be a small but regular bleeding from hemorrhoids or heavy periods.
- Enhanced destruction of red blood cells. Occurs in case of poisoning with chemicals and organic poisons, after snake bites. Less commonly, it can occur when the liver and spleen malfunction. They are accompanied by severe jaundice, enlarged liver, intoxication, and other symptoms of massive destruction of red blood cells.
Not only anemia can lead to a decrease in hematocrit. Excessive accumulation of water in the body with impaired renal function is often the cause of this condition.Severe infectious diseases can contribute to a decrease in the number of formed elements.
The main manifestations of a reduced hematocrit include:
- Pale skin, hair loss and brittle nails.
- Appearance of desire to use land, chalk.
- General fatigue, drowsiness.
- Bluish tint of the sclera.
- Increased heart rate.
If one or more of these symptoms appear, you should consult a doctor to determine the cause of the decrease in the hematocrit level.Often, to restore this indicator, it is enough to normalize nutrition, saturating the body with vitamins, proteins, and a number of other active substances that are indispensable for the synthesis of red blood cells.
It is important to consider that a decrease in hematocrit may be a normal variant. Often this indicator decreases in 2-3 trimesters of pregnancy. The reason for the phenomenon is a rapid increase in the proportion of plasma in the blood of a pregnant woman, which the body does not have time to compensate by activating the red bone marrow.In most cases, this condition does not require intervention, the blood composition is restored on its own.
If the reason for the decrease in hematocrit is a disease, you need to be examined by a specialized specialist to clarify the diagnosis and select the appropriate treatment regimen. In the case when the cause was blood loss, the tactics of treatment will depend on the amount of blood lost. With blood loss of up to 0.5 liters, sufficient nutrition and bed rest are sufficient. When bleeding large volumes, blood transfusion may be required to compensate for the lost red blood cells.Often it is combined with oxygen therapy – the supply of a gas mixture with an increased oxygen content to the patient for breathing.
Deciphering the blood test – Scandinavia clinic
After donating blood, we are left alone with a long list of indicators, and sometimes with frightening marks “above normal” or “below normal”. Let’s figure out what is hidden behind the abbreviations, and why the numbers can change.
A clinical blood test is prescribed to determine the number of cells, their external parameters and the ratio with the liquid part of the blood – plasma.This is usually needed to check the general condition of the body, to determine inflammation. The counting is carried out by an automatic device, but a doctor can also do this by examining a smear in a microscope.
To get the correct results, you need to properly prepare for the delivery. The main recommendation is to be tested in the morning on an empty stomach. Your doctor may give you additional instructions, such as avoiding fatty foods, drinking alcohol, or exercising a day.These guidelines should be followed.
RBC (Red blood cells) – the absolute number of red blood cells
Red blood cells are red blood cells. They contain the protein hemoglobin, which binds and carries oxygen and carbon dioxide. Thus, red blood cells perform an important transport function, therefore, there are more of them in the blood than other cells.
If there are very few red blood cells or hemoglobin, this condition is called anemia. Its appearance is associated with a deficiency of iron, vitamin B12, folic acid.Anemia often accompanies pregnancy.
An increase in the number of red blood cells is called erythrocytosis or polycythemia. The increase can be relative, for example, with dehydration, diarrhea, or smoking, when the plasma becomes less.
Or it can be absolute, when the production of red blood cells increases dramatically. The reason may be mutations in bone marrow stem cells – the progenitors of red blood cells, or an increase in the level of the hormone erythropoietin. Inhabitants of the highlands, where there is not enough oxygen, face such a condition.Tumors can also interfere with the production of erythropoietin.
HGB – the concentration of hemoglobin in the blood
Hemoglobin is a complex protein found in red blood cells. It normally binds to oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules. The amount of hemoglobin differs depending on age and gender.
A lack of hemoglobin indicates anemia, but additional tests are needed to establish its cause. The excess of hemoglobin, as well as of erythrocytes, can be relative, as with dehydration, or absolute, against the background of high-altitude hypoxia, high levels of erythropoietin and other factors.
Erythrocyte indices (MCV, MCH, MCHC)
The blood test describes the parameters of erythrocytes, or erythrocyte indices. They help to establish the cause of anemia, since fluctuations in these indicators indicate a violation of the process of erythrocyte production.
MCV – average erythrocyte volume
By the value of this parameter, anemia can be classified.
Microcytosis – a decrease in the parameter.The matter may be in iron deficiency or in violation of hemoglobin synthesis – thalassemia.
Macrocytosis – an increase in the parameter. It can be observed with a deficiency of vitamins B12, folic acid, liver disease and bone marrow disorders.
MCH – average hemoglobin content in a single erythrocyte
The decrease in MCH may be due to iron deficiency or impaired hemoglobin production. MCH can increase with a deficiency of vitamin B12, folic acid.
MCHC – the average concentration of hemoglobin in the erythrocyte mass
This is an indicator of the saturation of the erythrocyte with hemoglobin. Low MCHC values are characteristic of iron deficiency anemia, and very high values can reflect spherocytosis or agglutination — the adhesion of red blood cells.
RDW – distribution of erythrocytes by volume
The RDW parameter evaluates the volume heterogeneity of a group of erythrocytes. If this parameter is increased, then the heterogeneity is high – there are too large and too small erythrocytes.
An increase in RDW is characteristic of iron deficiency anemia, myelodysplastic
syndrome – disorders of maturation of bone marrow cells, chronic liver and kidney disease, colorectal cancer.
If there are too many non-standard cells in the sample, the analysis results may show marks: anisocytosis – the presence of cells with a changed size, anisochromia – with a changed color, poikilocytosis – with a changed shape. This is typical for different types of anemia.
B-Ret – reticulocytes
These are young precursor cells of erythrocytes, which are formed in the bone marrow and circulate in small quantities in the blood.
There are more reticulocytes in the blood when the bone marrow receives a signal to increase the production of red blood cells. This can occur with hemolytic anemia, a condition in which red blood cells are destroyed faster than expected.
A decrease in the number of reticulocytes is observed in case of disruption of the bone marrow with aplastic anemia, as well as with a deficiency of iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid, kidney and liver diseases.
HCT – hematocrit
This indicator reflects the ratio of the volume of red blood cells and the liquid part of the blood, that is, it shows how thick the blood is.
If the indicator is increased, most likely there is a fluid deficiency in the body. This is the most common cause of high hematocrit. Other possible causes are lung disease, congenital heart disease, and polycythemia, a condition that is characterized by an increase in the number of blood cells.
If the hematocrit is low, it may indicate a deficiency of iron, vitamin B12 and folate, kidney or bone marrow disease such as leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma.
PLT – platelets
Platelets are small platelets of blood. If the vessel is damaged, they are sent to the accident site and participate in the formation of a blood clot to stop bleeding.
Decreased platelet count – thrombocytopenia.It can be a consequence of a malfunction of the bone marrow, in which blood cells are formed. Causes: aplastic anemia, leukemia, vitamin B12 deficiency. Other reasons are platelet destruction due to autoimmune disease or from exposure to certain medications.
There is also a natural decrease in the number of platelets during menstruation or pregnancy, which in most cases is not a pathology.
Sometimes thrombocytopenia is false due to the fact that platelets stick together in a test tube under the influence of a reagent.
An increase in platelet count is called thrombocytosis or thrombocythemia. This condition may be due to chronic inflammatory processes, such as rheumatoid arthritis or tuberculosis. Thrombocytosis is also seen in acute infections, iron deficiency anemia, and after removal of the spleen. An increase in the number of platelets can be observed with disruption of the bone marrow – myeloproliferative diseases.
MPV – mean platelet volume
A decrease in the MPV index is observed when the formation of blood cells in
bone marrow, for example, with aplastic anemia, as well as under the influence of certain drugs.
An increase in MPV occurs with increased activity of the bone marrow: younger large platelets enter the blood. This can lead to increased destruction of platelets, myeloproliferative diseases, preeclampsia during pregnancy.
WBC (white blood cells) – the absolute content of leukocytes
Leukocytes are white blood cells. Their main function is to protect the body from any pathogens and tumor cells.
Several groups of cells are called leukocytes: neutrophils, lymphocytes, eosinophils, monocytes and basophils. Each of them has a separate function.
In a blood test, the total number of leukocytes is indicated in absolute value – the number of cells per liter. And each group is indicated either as a percentage of the total number of leukocytes, or also in absolute value.
If the total number of leukocytes fluctuates, it is important to determine through which group the change occurred.
Decrease in the number of leukocytes – leukopenia. It is observed with disruption of the bone marrow, autoimmune diseases, leukemia. A drop in white blood cell counts is characteristic of some infections, such as HIV or hepatitis. May occur against the background of chemotherapy, as well as certain medications (gastroprotective agents, antipsychotic).
An increase in leukocytes – leukocytosis. It can be both physiological and
pathological.Physiological leukocytosis, that is, natural, helps the body fight infection. There are many reasons for pathological leukocytosis. It can be a sign of inflammation, tumor, bone marrow malfunction, or corticosteroid use.
NEUT – neutrophils
Neutrophils, or neutrophilic granulocytes, are one of the groups of leukocytes. Their main function is to protect the body from bacterial and fungal infections.
Decreased neutrophils – neutropenia.This condition is caused by the use of certain drugs, exposure to radiation, infections, vitamin B12 deficiency, aplastic anemias, immunodeficiencies, and autoimmune diseases.
An increase in the number of neutrophils – neutrophilia. It is observed in inflammatory reactions, infectious processes, tumors and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
LYM – lymphocytes
Lymphocytes are another group of white blood cells that are the main cells of the immune system.They fight pathogens, form long-term immunity, destroy tumor cells, and are also responsible for the tolerance of the immune system to its own cells and tissues.
A decrease in the number of lymphocytes – lymphopenia. Causes of lymphopenia: viral infections – influenza, hepatitis, tuberculosis and HIV, fasting, intense physical activity, taking the hormone prednisone, chemotherapy, autoimmune diseases (systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, myasthenia gravis), some types of cancer (leukemia and lymphoma).
An increase in lymphocytes – lymphocytosis is characteristic of infections: chickenpox, measles, mononucleosis, and can also be a sign of a tumor process.
EOS – eosinophils
Eosinophils are another group of leukocytes. The main function is the fight against multicellular parasites. In addition, eosinophils are involved in the formation of allergic reactions.
An increase in the number of eosinophils in the blood – eosinophilia.It is necessary to pay attention to this parameter, because mainly eosinophils are in the tissues, there are very few of them in the blood – 0.5 – 2% of the total number of leukocytes.
Common causes of eosinophilia: allergic diseases such as bronchial asthma, food or drug allergies, hay fever. In the list of reasons – defeat by parasites: ascaris, echinococcus, lamblia and others. Rare cases of eosinophilia are seen in cancer – lymphoma and leukemia.
MON – monocytes
Monocytes are a group of leukocytes.Their main function is to absorb foreign cells and present them to other cells of the immune system. They also activate the production of cytokines, proteins responsible for the body’s inflammatory response. Basically, monocytes circulate in tissues, there are few of them in the blood.
Increased monocytes – monocytosis. This condition is observed with infections: chickenpox, malaria, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, syphilis. Typical for autoimmune diseases, as well as tumor diseases of the blood – leukemia.
Decrease in monocytes – monocytopenia. May result from infections: HIV, Epstein-Barr virus, adenovirus. And it is also observed with chemotherapy, lymphoma, leukemia.
BAS – basophils
Basophils are a type of white blood cell. The main function is to participate in inflammatory and allergic reactions. Changes in the number of these cells in the blood are rare.
The increased content of basophils – basophilia.It can be observed with hypothyroidism – a persistent lack of thyroid hormones, as well as with diseases of the bone marrow.
Decrease in the number of basophils – basopenia. It can appear in response to thyrotoxicosis – an excess of thyroid hormone, as well as in acute hypersensitivity reactions and infections.
Now, having noticed changes in the clinical analysis of blood, you can assume
possible reason. But do not make a diagnosis on your own, all the more so only for one indicator.Be sure to consult a doctor for accurate interpretation, prescribing additional tests and choosing treatment tactics.
90,000 CBC Indicators – KDL Laboratory
Hemoglobin ( Hb) is one of the main indicators of a general blood test. A decrease in hemoglobin concentration is a fairly common occurrence that can be found at any age. It is hemoglobin that gives blood such a red color. And we need it to deliver oxygen from the lungs to our organs – the brain, heart, muscles and others.Therefore, if you have shortness of breath already with little physical exertion, constant weakness, apathy – you should pay attention to this particular indicator. Recently, doctors have recommended thinking about possible anemia even when hemoglobin is below 120 g / l in women, and in men below 130 g / l.
Erythrocytes ( RBC) – an indicator of the number of red blood cells, measured in the number of cells per liter of blood. This is the most abundant cell type. The main task of erythrocytes is to carry hemoglobin.If the number of red blood cells decreases, for example, due to a deficiency of vitamin B12 or folic acid (namely, these vitamins are needed for the synthesis of these cells), then hemoglobin in the blood will also be insufficient, even with a good supply of iron (ferritin).
Hematocrit ( HCT) – the volume of all blood cells,% of the volume of cells in the blood. With an increase in hematocrit beyond 50%, the risk of thrombosis due to blood thickening increases. In hematology analyzers, this is the calculated indicator of the so-called.That is, it is directly affected by the number of red blood cells and their average volume.
Average erythrocyte volume ( MCV) – MCV can be low (for microcytic anemia), normal (for normocytic anemia) or high (for macrocytic anemia). Small red blood cells (microcytosis) is a common laboratory disorder and is a classic sign of iron deficiency or thalassemia. As anemia progresses, new red blood cells become smaller and smaller, so the MCV score can serve as a marker of the age of anemia.In early iron deficiency anemia, MCV may be normal because the measured MCV reflects the volume of cells produced in the previous 120 days (erythrocyte lifespan). Your doctor may order a ferritin test to diagnose latent iron deficiency. Anemia occurs because without an iron molecule, the bone marrow cannot build a hemoglobin molecule.
Average hemoglobin content in erythrocyte ( MCH) is a fairly stable value that does not depend on age.This index has replaced the outdated color indicator (CPU). A decrease in MCH also indicates a lack of iron. An increase may be a sign of hyperchromic anemia.
Average concentration of hemoglobin in erythrocyte ( MCHC) . An increase in MCHC with a reduced MCV may suggest hereditary microspherocytosis – a disease in which there is increased destruction of red blood cells and may be yellow.
The width of distribution of erythrocytes by volume (RDW) is an indicator of anisocytosis (different sizes of erythrocytes).Before the advent of hematology analyzers, the heterogeneity of red blood cell size was historically determined by qualitative examination of peripheral blood smears. RDW indicates how much red blood cells vary in size. It increases with a deficiency of iron, folic acid or vitamin B12.
Platelets ( PLT) – the smallest blood cells, but no less important than erythrocytes and leukocytes. We need them for blood clotting. When they decrease in the analysis below 30, bruises spontaneously appear on the skin, so increased bleeding is manifested.With an increase in the number of platelets, first of all, it is necessary to exclude iron deficiency anemia and an inflammatory reaction (make an analysis for C-reactive protein).
MPV – average platelet volume. The MPV value rises during the period of active platelet production. A decrease in platelet volume indicates possible problems with the bone marrow. You should pay attention to the MPV indicator only when the number of platelets decreases and there is no aggregation.
PCT – thrombocyte, or% of the volume of all platelets in the blood.The higher the thrombocyte, the greater the risk of thrombosis.
PDW – platelet volume distribution width. PDW as well as MPV is used to diagnose the cause of platelet decline.
Leukocytes – the most important indicator of our immune system. A decrease in the number of leukocytes can be associated with viral infections, toxic effects on the body, and the intake of certain medications. An increase in the number of leukocytes can indicate an inflammatory reaction, acute infection, leukemia.In this case, special attention should be paid to the leukocyte formula, that is, to do a clinical blood test with a leukoformula.
Still have questions?
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 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.
What does this mean
|Red blood cell count (RBC)||
Erythrocytes perform the function of supplying oxygen to the tissues of the body, as well as removing carbon dioxide from the tissues, which is then released through the lungs.
If the level of red blood cells is below normal, the body receives insufficient amounts of oxygen.
If the red blood cell count is higher than normal, there is a high risk that the red blood cells stick together, leading to thrombosis.
4.3-6.2 x 10 at 12 degrees / liter for men
3.8-5.5 x 10 at 12 degrees / liter for women
3.8-5.5 x 10 at 12 degrees / liter for children
|Hemoglobin (HGB, Hb)||
It is a special protein that is responsible for carrying oxygen to the organs.
A decrease in hemoglobin levels leads to oxygen starvation of the body.
An increase in the level of hemoglobin, as a rule, indicates a high number of red blood cells, or dehydration of the body.
|120 – 140 g / l|
Hematocrit is an indicator that reflects how much blood is occupied by erythrocytes.
Increased hematocrit occurs in erythrocytosis, as well as in dehydration.
A decrease in hematocrit indicates anemia or an increase in the amount of liquid part of the blood.
39 – 49% for men
35 – 45% for women
|Red blood cell distribution width (RDWc)||
The distribution width of red blood cells is an indicator that indicates how much red blood cells differ in size.
If both large and small erythrocytes are present in the blood, this condition is called anisocytosis (this is a sign of iron deficiency, etc.types of anemias).
|11.5 – 14.5%|
|Mean erythrocyte volume (MCV)||
The average red blood cell volume allows the doctor to obtain data on the size of the red blood cell.
Erythrocytes with a small average volume are found in microcytic anemia, iron deficiency anemia, etc.
Erythrocytes with an increased average volume are found in megaloblastic anemia.
|80 – 100 fl|
|Average erythrocyte hemoglobin (MCH)||
This indicator allows the doctor to determine how much hemoglobin is contained in one red blood cell.
A decrease in this indicator is found in iron deficiency anemia.
Increase – with megaloblastic anemia.
|26 – 34 pg (pg)|
|Average concentration of hemoglobin in erythrocyte (MCHC)||
The average concentration of hemoglobin in an erythrocyte reflects how much the erythrocyte is saturated with hemoglobin.
A decrease in this indicator is found in iron deficiency anemias, as well as in congenital blood diseases.
There is practically no increase in this indicator.
|30 – 370 g / l (g / l)|
|Number of platelets||
An increase in the level of platelets in the blood occurs in some blood diseases, as well as after surgery and removal of the spleen.
A decrease in platelet levels occurs in some congenital blood diseases, aplastic anemia, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, liver cirrhosis, etc.
|180 – 320 × 109 / l|
|Leukocyte count (WBC)||
A high white blood cell count indicates a bacterial infection.
A decrease in the number of leukocytes occurs when taking certain medications, blood diseases, etc.
|4.0 – 9.0 × 10 in 9th degree / l|
|Lymphocyte count (LYM)||
Lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell that is responsible for the production of immunity and the fight against microbes and viruses.
An increase in the number of lymphocytes occurs in some infectious diseases, as well as in diseases of the blood.
A decrease in the number of lymphocytes occurs in severe chronic diseases, AIDS, renal failure, taking certain drugs that suppress the immune system.
LYM # 1.2 – 3.0×109 / l (or 1.2-63.0 x 103 / μl)
|Content of a mixture of monocytes, eosinophils, basophils and immature cells (MID, MXD)||
These types of blood cells also belong to leukocytes and perform important functions
To determine the nature of changes, as a rule, the percentage of each type of cells is studied.
MID # (MID, MXD #) 0.2-0.8 x 109 / l
MID% (MXD%) 5 – 10%
|Granulocyte count (GRA, GRAN)||
Granulocytes are usually elevated when there is inflammation in the body.
A decrease in the level of granulocytes occurs in aplastic anemia, after taking certain medications, as well as in systemic lupus erythematosus.
GRA # 1.2-6.8 x 109 / L (or 1.2-6.8 x 103 / μL)
GRA% 47 – 72%
|Monocyte count (MON)||
An increased content of monocytes is found in some infectious diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, blood diseases.
A decrease in the level of monocytes occurs after heavy operations, taking drugs that suppress the immune system.
MON% 4 – 10%
MON # 0.1-0.7 x 109 / L (or 0.1-0.7 x 103 / μL)
|Erythrocyte sedimentation rate , ESR, ESR.||
An elevated ESR indicates possible inflammation in the body due to an increased content of inflammatory proteins in the blood. ESR occurs in anemia, malignant tumors, etc.
A decrease in ESR is rare and indicates an increased content of red blood cells in the blood, or other blood diseases.
Up to 10 mm / h for men
Up to 15 mm / h for women
Hematocrit: take a blood test, get a decryption
The volume fraction of erythrocytes in whole blood, its value depends on their number and shape. The hematocrit is defined as the ratio of the volume of red blood cells to the volume of whole blood.The diagnostic value of hematocrit indicators is similar to the value of unidirectional changes in the content of erythrocytes in the blood.
Reference values (variant of the norm).
|<2 weeks||41.0 – 65.0|
|2 weeks- 1 month||33.0 – 55.0|
|1 month – 2 months||28.0 – 42.0|
|2 – 4 months||32.0 – 44.0|
|4 months – 6 months||31.0 – 41.0|
|6 months – 9 months||32.0 – 40.0|
|9 months- 1 year||33.0 – 41.0|
|1 year – 3 years||32.0 – 40.0|
|3 years – 6 years||32.0 – 42.0|
|6 – 9 years old||33.0 – 41.0|
|9 – 12 years old||34.0 – 43.0|
|12 – 15 years old||35.0 – 45.0||34.0 – 44.0|
|15 – 18 years old||37.0 – 48.0||34.0 – 44.0|
|18-45 years old||39.0 – 49.0||