Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV)

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Subject: Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV)

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Definition

  • MCV represents the average measurement of RBC volume. It is measured directly by automated instruments but calculated as Hct divided by RBC count with manual methods.

  • Normal range: 82.0–101.0 fL.

Use

  • MCV is helpful in the classification of anemias.

Interpretation

Increased In

  • Macrocytic anemias

  • Myelodysplastic syndromes

  • Alcoholism

  • Liver diseases

  • Hypothyroidism

  • Hemolysis with high reticulocyte count

  • Infants and newborns

Decreased In

  • Iron deficiency anemias

  • Thalassemias

  • Hereditary sideroblastic anemia

  • Lead poisoning

  • Anemia of chronic disease and other hemoglobinopathies (may be decreased or normal)

Limitations

  • MCV may be artificially increased with marked leukocytosis, numerous large platelets, cold agglutinins, methanol poisoning, marked hyperglycemia, and marked reticulocytosis.

  • MCV may be falsely decreased with in vitro hemolysis or fragmentation of RBCs.

 
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