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What is MCV in a blood test

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

In a blood test, we can discover some alterations in the Blood that can help us detect conditions or diseases that, at first glance, do not show any symptoms. The acronym VCM responds to the mean twilight volume or means cell volume; that is, it measures the size of red blood cells or erythrocytes.

But what do the VCM results mean? Beyond the definition, information about our health brings us to know its values. The truth is that VAW is an essential measure to see the state of health of a person and a way to identify diseases when they still do not cause any symptoms. To learn more, keep reading the following FastlyHealarticle in which we explain what is MCV in a blood test, its average values ​​and what high and low MCV means.

VCM and analytics

Blood tests or hemograms are medical tests by which Blood is drawn directly from a vein to be later analyzed in a laboratory. Usually, it is extracted from the area before the elbow through a syringe; However, it can be done through a finger or heel puncture depending on the person’s state or age – small children, babies, or newborns – it can be done through a finger or period.

The red blood cells or erythrocytes are cells that play an essential role in the proper development of our bodies. These globules are responsible for the transport of hemoglobin. If we consider that hemoglobin is responsible for the transport of oxygen from the lungs to all the body tissues, its role in body oxygenation is vital. Like oxygen, red blood cells are also responsible for collecting carbon dioxide and bringing it back to the lungs to exhale.

Any alteration in the size of the erythrocytes, either because they are more significant than they should or because they are smaller than usual, will affect how the body oxygenates itself or releases carbon dioxide. Below we will explain the causes of high and low VAW and the symptoms that can alert us to it.

MCV: normal values

Generally, MCV between 80 and 97 or 100 fL is normal. However, many factors can change this normality. On the one hand, depending on the laboratory, they can be moved by other standards, and these values ​​vary slightly. On the other, depending on the person’s health, age and sex, different results may fall within what is considered correct. Having made these notes, it should be known that high or low levels of MCV can mean two diseases:

  • High MCV: in cases where MCV is higher than average values, the blood cells are more significant than they should be. This is known as macrocytic anemia, which we will talk about later.
  • Low MCV: it occurs when the MCV values ​​are lower than what is considered an average value; unlike the previous one, the cells are smaller than they should be and is known as microcytic anemia.

High MCV: macrocytic anemia

A high MCV tells us that the red blood cells in our Blood are more significant than they should be. But not only that, the fact that they are older is due to some alteration that manifests itself in their shape -which is irregular- and in the count -which is lower-. Medically we know this condition as macrocytic anemia or macrocytosis, something that is usually caused by any of the following causes:

  • Due to lack of iron or folic acid. It is relatively common in cases of malnutrition and in vegetarians who do not follow a balanced diet.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Hyperthyroidism.
  • Alcoholic people.
  • Liver diseases.
  • Use of AIDS drugs.
  • Lack of vitamin B6.
  • Malabsorption problems like people with celiac disease.

Low MCV: microcytic anemia

On the opposite side, we find microcytosis or microcytic anemia, or what is the same, low MCV. This means that the average size of the red blood cells is smaller than would be desirable.

Microcytic anemia or microcytosis occurs when the number of VCM in the Blood is lower than usual. This means that the average volume of red blood cells is less than what is considered healthy. The causes that can cause it are multiple, but one should be highlighted due to its dangerousness, known medically as subclinical bleeding. Usually, when there is a loss of blood, the person is aware of it, for example, in the case of injuries, wounds, or surgical operations. However, in the case of subclinical bleeding, it occurs slowly, for instance, through ulcers, heavy menstruation, or minor internal bleeding. Usually, these disorders in which Blood is lost internally, such as at some point in the digestive tract, can be dangerous if proper treatment is not carried out.

If, after various medical tests, the doctor determines that there is no bleeding, other possible causes of microcytic anemia or low MCV are:

  • Lack of iron.
  • Vitamin B6 deficiency.
  • Copper deficiency
  • Vitamin C deficiency.
  • People who suffer from alcoholism.
  • Malabsorption problems.
  • People who have been exposed to lead.

This article is merely informative; at FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is VAW in a blood test, we recommend that you enter our category of Blood, heart, and circulation.

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