Indicators of a clinical blood test

Hemoglobin (Hb) is one of the main indicators of a complete blood count. A decrease in hemoglobin concentration is a fairly common occurrence that can be found at any age. It is hemoglobin that gives blood such a red color. And we need it to deliver oxygen from the lungs to our organs – the brain, heart, muscles and others. Therefore, if you have shortness of breath already with little physical exertion, constant weakness, apathy – you should pay attention to this particular indicator. Recently, doctors have recommended thinking about possible anemia even when hemoglobin is below 120 g / l in women, and below 130 g / l in men.

Red blood cells (RBC) is a measure of the number of red blood cells, measured in the number of cells per liter of blood. This is the most abundant cell type. The main task of erythrocytes is to carry hemoglobin. If the number of red blood cells decreases, for example, due to a deficiency of vitamin B12 or folic acid (namely, these vitamins are needed for the synthesis of these cells), then hemoglobin in the blood will also be insufficient, even with a good supply of iron (ferritin).

Hematocrit (HCT) – the volume of all blood cells,% by volume of cells in the blood. With an increase in hematocrit beyond 50%, the risk of thrombosis due to blood thickening increases. In hematology analyzers, this is a calculated indicator i.e. it is directly affected by the number of erythrocytes and their average volume.

Mean erythrocyte volume (MCV) – MCV can be low (for microcytic anemia), normal (for normocytic anemia), or high (for macrocytic anemia). Small red blood cells (microcytosis) is a common laboratory disorder and is a classic sign of iron deficiency or thalassemia. As anemia progresses, new red blood cells become smaller and smaller, so the MCV score can serve as a marker of the age of anemia. In early iron deficiency anemia, MCV may be normal because the measured MCV reflects the volume of cells produced in the previous 120 days (erythrocyte lifespan). Your doctor may order a ferritin test to diagnose latent iron deficiency. Anemia occurs because without an iron molecule, the bone marrow cannot build a hemoglobin molecule.

The average hemoglobin content in the erythrocyte (MCH) is a fairly stable value, which does not depend on age. This index replaces the outdated color indicator (CPU). A decrease in MCH also indicates a lack of iron. An increase may be a sign of hyperchromic anemia.

Average concentration of hemoglobin in erythrocyte (MCHC). An increase in MCHC with a decreased MCV may suggest hereditary microspherocytosis, a disease in which there is increased destruction of red blood cells and may be yellow.

The distribution width of red blood cells by volume (RDW) is an indicator of anisocytosis (different sizes of red blood cells). Before the advent of hematology analyzers, the heterogeneity of red blood cell size was historically determined by qualitative examination of peripheral blood smears. RDW indicates how much red blood cells vary in size. It increases with a deficiency of iron, folic acid or vitamin B12.

Platelets (PLT) are the smallest blood cells, but no less important than red blood cells and white blood cells. We need them for blood clotting. When they decrease in the analysis below 30, bruises spontaneously appear on the skin, so increased bleeding is manifested. With an increase in the number of platelets, first of all, it is necessary to exclude iron deficiency anemia and an inflammatory reaction (make an analysis for C-reactive protein).

MPV is the mean platelet volume. The MPV value rises during the period of active platelet production. A decrease in platelet volume indicates possible problems with the bone marrow. You should pay attention to the MPV indicator only when the number of platelets decreases and there is no aggregation.

PCT – thrombocyte, or% of the volume of all platelets in the blood. The higher the thrombocyte, the greater the risk of thrombosis.

PDW is the platelet volume distribution width. PDW as well as MPV is used to diagnose the cause of platelet decline.

White blood cells are the most important indicator of our immune system. A decrease in the number of leukocytes can be associated with viral infections, toxic effects on the body, taking certain medications. An increase in the number of leukocytes can indicate an inflammatory reaction, acute infection, leukemia. In this case, special attention should be paid to the leukocyte formula, that is, to do a clinical blood test with a leukoformula.