Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV)

Last updated: July 29, 2018

What Does Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) Mean?

Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) is the measure of the average size of a patient's red blood cells. This evaluation forms part of the Complete Blood Count test and is used as a differential to diagnose the cause of anemia in a patient. Anemia is the result of a decrease in hemoglobin or blood cell count and produces high or low Mean Corpuscular Volume measurements depending on the cause of the anemia.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV)

In adults, Mean Corpuscular Volume measurements of between 80 to 96 femtoliters are normal or normocytic. High, or large, average measurements denote macrocytic red blood cells and are found in patients with liver disease, folic acid and vitamin B12 deficiencies, as well as patients who are suffer from alcoholism or are undergoing chemotherapy. Low, or small, average measurements are deemed to be microcytic. Patients with microcytic red blood cells may suffer from renal failure, iron deficiencies, or tumors in the gastrointestinal tract or colon.


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