Mean corpuscular volume, shortened as MCV, is the average size of the red blood cells. The red blood cells transport oxygen from the lungs to cells in the body. Oxygen is vital for cell growth and reproduction, which are necessary to remain healthy.
A blood disorder such as anaemia may be present if your red blood cells are too large or small. Lack of certain vitamins and certain medical conditions can cause abnormal red blood cell size.
An MCV blood test is usually part of a complete blood count (CBC). CBC panel is a blood test that measures the different cells in the blood, including your red blood cells. This blood test can help check your general health.
Your doctor will likely order an MCV test with other blood tests to diagnose or monitor some blood disorders like anaemia. Different types of anaemia affect people, and the MCV test can diagnose the specific type of anaemia.
Your doctor may order a CBC panel, including an MCV test, during your regular check-up. The CBC test, including MCV, may also be necessary if you have a chronic (long-term) condition that may result in anaemia or you experience symptoms of anaemia such as:
During your MCV blood test, the healthcare provider will take your venous blood sample from your arm with a small needle. After the professional inserts the needle, they will collect a small amount of blood into a vial or test tube. Some people feel slight pain when the needle goes in or out. The blood collection process lasts less than five minutes.
You do not need any special preparation for an MCV blood test. If your healthcare professional ordered more tests on your blood sample, fasting for some hours before the test may be necessary. Your provider will inform you if you need to follow special instructions before the test.
Blood tests do not have a significant risk. Slight bruising or pain at the spot the provider inserted and removed the needle may occur, but the symptoms clear quickly.
Only an MCV test cannot diagnose any disease. Your doctor will assess your MCV result with other tests and medical history for an accurate diagnosis.
If your MCV results indicate your red blood cells are smaller than normal, the following may be the cause.
If your MCV results show your red blood cells are larger than normal, it may indicate
A normal MCV result may be possible even when anaemia is present. This may result from the following conditions
An abnormal MCV level doesn’t always mean a medical condition that requires treatment is necessary. A menstrual period, activity levels, diet and medicines may affect the MCV test result. Your healthcare provider will explain what your results mean.
If your healthcare provider thinks you have a blood disorder, you will run other red blood cell tests with the MCV blood test. These tests may include haemoglobin measurements and red blood cell counts. These tests are known as red blood cell indices.
You can have your MCV test and other blood tests at our Clinic. Call us today on 02071830244 to book your MCV blood test.