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June 2, 2022

Mean Corpuscular Volume isn't Mean at All

The mean corpuscular volume (MCV) reflects the average size or volume of a red blood cell and is the part of a Complete Blood Count (CBC) that refers to the average size of circulating red blood cells. 

An increased MCV indicates the RBC is larger than normal. A decreased MCV indicates small RBCs. The cause of the size variance in RBCs is most commonly due to due to various nutrient deficiencies.

If the MCV is high then more cells are large, which can be due to folate or vitamin B12 insufficiency. If the MCV is low then more cells are small, possibly due to iron deficiency or even lead toxicity. A suboptimal MCV, either low or high, should be explored further. 

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CLICK HERE to learn more about MCV, optimal ranges, etc.

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Tag(s): Biomarkers

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