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What does a high MCV count indicate?

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Quick Answer

Medscape explains that a high MCV count indicates the presence of larger-than-average red blood cells, known as macrocytic anemia. Possible causes for a high MCV count include folate deficiency anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, liver disease, hemolytic anemia, hypothyroidism, excessive alcohol intake and aplastic anemia. While the MCV test is a good indicator, follow up tests and a physical examination are typically used to confirm the diagnosis.

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What does a high MCV count indicate?
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Full Answer

The MCV test, or mean corpuscular volume test, is part of the complete blood count test (CBC), and it is performed through venipuncture, according Medscape. Because nearly one-third of older patients have an elevated MCV count with no discernible cause and the test is not sufficient to make a diagnosis, the MCV test is rarely considered on its own. Instead, it is used in conjunction with other red blood cell tests administered as part of the CBC test.

A low MCV count indicates microcytic and hypochromic anemia, according to Medscape. This result means that red blood cells are smaller than average, and it indicates that a person is suffering from iron deficient anemia, anemia due to chronic disease, sideroblastic anemia or thalassemia. A normal MCV count, or normocytic and normochromic anemia, can also indicate additional types of anemia.

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