- Symptoms of High MCV
- Normal, High, Low Levels
- Test and Diagnosis
- Children Normal MCV Levels & Chart
- High MCV in Children
- Low MCV in Children
- Anemia Causes
What are the symptoms of high MCV?
Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) is a value related to your red blood cells.
- An average MCV score is between 80 and 95.
- If the MCV goes up to an extreme of 125, it may indicate vitamin B12, folate deficiencies, or cold agglutinin disease.
A higher MCV value indicates that the red blood cells are larger than the average size.
What are the symptoms of high MCV?
If your MCV goes up, it could indicate:
- Low vitamin B12 level
- Folate deficiency (folic acid is a nutrient)
- Liver disease
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Aplastic anemia (a condition where the body stops producing sufficient red blood cells)
- Cold agglutinin disease (a condition where the body’s immune system attacks your red blood cells and destroys them)
- Chronic hypoxia (low oxygen levels in the blood)
- Benign familial macrocytosis (high MCV level due to a genetic defect)
- Myelodysplastic syndrome (a group of disorders caused when something disrupts the production of blood cells)
What is MCV? Normal, high, and low
The mean corpuscular volume (MCV) measures the average size of the red blood cells. The average MCV ranges from 80 to 100 femtoliters (fL). There are three conditions associated with MCV, which include:
- Microcytic: MCV level below 80 fL
- Normocytic: MCV level between 80 and 100 fL
- Macrocytic: MCV level above 100 fL
A low or high MCV level may indicate health issues. MCV is calculated according to the following formula:
- MCV (fL) = [Hematocrit (%)*10]/[RBC count (106/µL)]
MCV can help narrow down possible diagnoses.
What does an MCV test tell you?
The physician may order a mean corpuscular volume (MCV) test if you exhibit these symptoms of a blood disorder:
The physician may also order an MCV test to differentiate several types of anemia. MCV also helps detect abnormalities with white blood cells or platelet.What else does MCV diagnose?
Apart from anemia, the mean corpuscular volume (MCV) test also helps:
- Forecast mortality in esophageal cancer.
- Estimate prognosis with chronic kidney disease.
- Predict the efficiency of chemotherapy and radiation with rectal cancer.
- Evaluate cognitive function (a higher MCV in older adults is associated with inferior cognitive function).
Researchers have found that patients with kidney disease and high MCV levels were at greater risk of death. They are over 3.5 times more likely to suffer from heart disease than those who had a normal MCV.
What is a normal MCV in children?
Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) is a measurement of the average size of red blood cells (RBCs). MCV is part of complete blood count—a routine screening test that analyzes the other two blood components, white blood cells, and platelets.
MCV is an indicator of reduced red blood cell circulation in the body, as seen in anemia and vitamin B12, and folic acid deficiencies.
Normal MCV in adults ranges from 80-100 fL.
Normal pediatric ranges are shown in the table below.
|Age||MCV range (in fL)|
|0 to 1 month||88 to 123|
|1 to 3 months||91 to 112|
|3 to 6 months||74 to 108|
|6 months to 1 year||70 to 85|
|2 to 3 years||74 to 89|
|4 to 6 years||77 to 91|
|7 to 10 years||78 to 92|
|11 to 14 years||80 to 95|
|15 to 18 years||81 to 96|
What causes high MCV in children?
High MCV is indicative of a larger-than-average size of red blood cells (RBCs), which could be due to:
- Folate deficiency is the most common cause of high MCV.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Liver disease
- Aplastic anemia (anemia due to bone marrow development failure)
- Myelodysplastic syndrome (a group of disorders in which RBCs do not mature)
- Chronic hypoxia (reduced amount of oxygen in the tissues)
- Benign familial macrocytosis (an inherited syndrome that leads to RBCs that are larger than normal)
What causes low MCV in children?
Low MCV is indicative of a smaller-than-average size of red blood cells (RBCs), which could be due to:
What causes anemia in children?
Causes of anemia in children vary depending on their age, gender, and ethnicity:
- Birth to 3 months:
- Physiological anemia, which is a normal developmental response to increased tissue oxygenation
- Pathologic anemia, which may be due to other causes such as:
- Blood loss
- Hemolytic disease (Rh or ABO incompatibility)
- Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency
- Congenital infections
- Twin-twin transfusion
- 3-6 months:
- Children and adolescents:
- Cow milk intake
- Menarche in female children
Henry’s Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods E-Book, 23rd Edition
Pediatric Reference Ranges: https://www.healthcare.uiowa.edu/path_handbook/appendix/heme/pediatric_normals.html
Brittany Maner. Mean Corpuscular Volume. NIH: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK545275/
Choladda Curry. Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV). Medscape: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2085770-overview#a1
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Common Medical Abbreviations & Terms
Doctors, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals use abbreviations, acronyms, and other terminology for instructions and information in regard to a patient's health condition, prescription drugs they are to take, or medical procedures that have been ordered. There is no approved this list of common medical abbreviations, acronyms, and terminology used by doctors and other health- care professionals. You can use this list of medical abbreviations and acronyms written by our doctors the next time you can't understand what is on your prescription package, blood test results, or medical procedure orders. Examples include:
- ANED: Alive no evidence of disease. The patient arrived in the ER alive with no evidence of disease.
- ARF: Acute renal (kidney) failure
- cap: Capsule.
- CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. A treatment for sleep apnea.
- DJD: Degenerative joint disease. Another term for osteoarthritis.
- DM: Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- HA: Headache
- IBD: Inflammatory bowel disease. A name for two disorders of the gastrointestinal (BI) tract, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
- JT: Joint
- N/V: Nausea or vomiting.
- p.o.: By mouth. From the Latin terminology per os.
- q.i.d.: Four times daily. As in taking a medicine four times daily.
- RA: Rheumatoid arthritis
- SOB: Shortness of breath.
- T: Temperature. Temperature is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
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