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.
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 is MCV used for?
MCV test is used to distinguish different types of anemia and as a prognostic tool for other health conditions. RBCs carry oxygen from the lungs to each cell of the body, which is essential for them to grow and reproduce. When the size of RBCs changes and becomes either too small or too large, it is indicative of blood disorders.
Your doctor may prescribe the mean corpuscular volume test as part of regular checkups or if you may be exhibiting any of these symptoms:
How is MCV calculated?
MCV (in fL) = (Hct [in L/L]/RBC [in ×1012/L]) × 1,000
MCV for different types of anemia are follows:
- Microcytic anemia: MCV below 80 fL
- Normocytic anemia: MCV between 80-100 fL
- Macrocytic anemia: MCV over 100 fL
What does low MCV in a child mean?
Low MCV is indicative of a smaller-than-average size of RBCs, which could be due to:
What does high MCV in a child mean?
High MCV is indicative of a larger-than-average size of RBCs, which could be due to:
- Folate deficiency
- 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 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
Latest Healthy Kids News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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
Top What Is a Normal MCV in Children Related Articles
Anemia: Common Causes, Symptoms, Types, and TreatmentAnemia is a disease marked by low numbers of red blood cells. Low iron deficiency or underlying disease, like cancer, may be to blame. Treatment can resolve anemia.
Anemia: Symptoms, Treatment and CausesAnemia is the condition of having less than the normal number of red blood cells or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. The oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood is, therefore, decreased. There are several types of anemia such as iron deficiency anemia (the most common type), sickle cell anemia, vitamin B12 anemia, pernicious anemia, and aplastic anemia. Symptoms of anemia may include fatigue, malaise, hair loss, palpitations, menstruation, and medications. Treatment for anemia includes treating the underlying cause for the condition. Iron supplements, vitamin B12 injections, and certain medications may also be necessary.
Anemia: How Is It Treated and Can It Be Cured?How is anemia treated and can anemia be cured? Learn how to identify and manage anemia.
folic acid (folate, vitamin B9, FA-8, Folacin, Folic Acid, GNC Folic Acid 400, and many more)Folic acid, folate, vitamin B9 (FA-8, Folacin, Folic Acid, GNC Folic Acid 400, and many more) is used for the treatment of folate deficiency and its complications, and for the treatment of folic acid deficiency associated with liver disease, kidney dialysis, ulcerative colitis, and alcoholism. Folic acid supplements also are taken by women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant to prevent birth defects (neural tube defects such as spina bifida) and miscarriage. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing, storage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
How Do You Treat Anemia in Children?What are anemia symptoms in children and how do you treat it?
Pernicious Anemia PicturePernicious anemia is a disease where large, immature, nucleated cells (megaloblasts, which are forerunners of red blood cells) circulate in the blood, and do not function as blood cells; it is a disease caused by impaired uptake of vitamin B-12 due to the lack of intrinsic factor (IF) in the gastric mucosa. It was termed "pernicious" because before it was learned that vitamin B-12 could treat the anemia, most people that developed the disease died from it.
High Red Blood Cell Count (Polycythemia)Polycythemia (elevated red blood cell count) is a rare blood disease in which the body produces too many red blood cells. Causes of polycythemia are either primary (acquired or genetic mutations) or secondary (diseases, conditions, high altitude).
How Do You Fix Anemia?
Anemia describes a condition in which you have a low red blood cell count and low hemoglobin levels. This is a serious condition as red blood cells and hemoglobin carry oxygen to all your cells, allowing them to burn energy. If you’re anemic, you’ll likely feel fatigued and short of breath, lacking physical stamina. You may have heart problems and appear pale. Anemia is often a symptom of some other disease or condition, so treatment varies widely depending on the root cause.
Signs You’re Low on Vitamin B12Your body needs vitamin B12 to keep blood cells healthy and to make your nerves work right. But what happens when you run low?
What Does It Mean if Your MCV Is High?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.
What Foods Are Good and Bad for Your Diet if You Have Anemia?What is anemia? Learn foods that are good and bad for anemia.