Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) measures the red blood cell size. This test is usually part of a complete blood count to analyse different blood components, including platelets and white blood cells.
Your doctor may order an MCV test to confirm if you have anaemia. Different levels of MCV can diagnose specific anaemia types.
The red blood cells have several characteristics that doctors can measure with specific indicators. Your doctor can use MCV to indicate the average size and volume of red blood cells.
Other indicators from the red blood cells include:
MCH is the average level of haemoglobin in the red blood cell.
MCHC is the average haemoglobin concentration in the red blood cells
RDW measures the differences in the size of red blood cells
These measurements are vital when diagnosing specific types of anaemia and other health issues.
When anemia progresses, other signs and symptoms are the following:
Mean corpuscular volume or MCV can be measured as part of complete blood count or CBC. It is a part of routine bloodwork or as part of diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of different medical conditions.
MCV blood tests can be used to:
An MCV blood test is routinely performed during a CBC. Some changes in the MCV might be secondary due to various conditions. For example, the MCV is low in iron deficiency anemia. In that case, you may require additional tests for the deficiency of iron. The MCV can even change in conditions such as deficiency of vitamin B12, folate or liver disease.
You do not need special preparations for the MCV blood test. The healthcare provider will draw a blood sample from your vein during the test. It may cause slight pain and a stinging sensation.
Drawing a blood sample has a few risks, but people differ, so blood collecting may be straightforward and painless for many people. The side effects of the blood collection for an MCV test include:
A doctor may recommend an MCV level check if you present the following symptoms.
The symptoms above may indicate conditions affecting the size of red blood cells. In some cases, the cells become larger or smaller than usual.
When red blood cells are smaller than usual, the risk of microcytic anaemia is higher, but larger red blood cells indicate macrocytic anaemia.
The normal MCV level in adults is 80 – 100 femtoliters (fl). The specific levels for different sexes and ages are:
|12 – 18 years
Children between 6 to 12 years have a normal MCV level of 86fl. MCV results may be different among labs, so a result may be slightly higher or lower. MCV value is usually stable though it rises slowly with age. Let’s find out MCV value of both men and women according to their age.
|10 to 19
|20 to 29
|30 to 39
|40 to 49
|50 to 59
|60 to 69
|70 to 79
|80 to 88
When the MCV level is below 80fl, it may indicate microcytic anaemia. This type of anaemia is where the red blood cells are lower than usual. The condition may result from iron deficiency from an underlying health issue or factors like medications or diet.
Bleeding may occur from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract when colon cancer develops or from the intake of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin. People experiencing heavy periods may also have iron deficiency.
People that eat a plant-based diet or an omnivorous diet with limited iron supply may need iron supplements.
Weight loss surgery, Helicobacter pylori infection, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis can affect iron absorption.
Pregnant women may need iron supplements because the body requires more iron for optimal foetal development.
In this condition, the body doesn’t produce sufficient normal haemoglobin. Thalassemia is a genetic condition inherited from a parent. It can range from mild to severe. The anaemia symptoms are mild or don’t show symptoms of mild thalassemia.
People with severe thalassemia may need regular red blood transfusions.
Knowing what is MCV in blood tests the UK is very important. If the MCV level is above 100fl, the red blood cells are larger than usual, indicating macrocytic anaemia. Megaloblastic anaemia is macrocytic anaemia that may result from folate (vitamin B9) are cobalamin (vitamin B12) deficiency.
The following may result in vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vegan diets do not include animal meals that contain natural forms of vitamin B12. Vegans and people with vitamin B12 deficiency can take supplements or vitamin B12-fortified foods.
This inflammatory condition affects the stomach, particularly the parietal cells that produce intrinsic factors. If these intrinsic factors are absent, vitamin B12 cannot enter the bloodstream through the distal small intestine. Iron infusions and vitamin B12 injections can treat this deficiency.
Factors that can contribute to vitamin B9 and vitamin B12 deficiency include:
MVC blood test requires conducting a venous blood draw. This test can be performing at any time during the day. You do not have to do fasting or restrict your activity before the test.
Side effects are generally mild and include:
If you always feel cold or tired, it is a possible cause of anaemia. Ensure you contact your doctor if you experience symptoms of anaemia. The doctor may ask about your family medical history, as conditions like Crohn’s disease and thalassemia which cause anaemia run in families.
You can visit Private Blood Tests London for your MCV level test and any blood test London. Call us today on 020 7183 0244 for an appointment for your blood test or to ask any blood test-related questions like.