When doctors are ordering blood test, there are common blood work panels that the listed. Some of the common blood work panels are white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. However, some of the other common blood work panels are hemoglobin, hematocrit and mean corpuscular volume. This blog will explain what hemoglobin, hematocrit and mean corpuscular volume mean.
Hemoglobin or HGB, is the protein in the red blood cells. When an individual has a high HGB, it could mean many different things. It may mean that you have poor heart or lung functions. Or it may mean that you have a disease of the bone marrow.
However, if an individual has low HGB, it typically means nothing. However, it may mean that you have a type of cancer, anemia, cirrhosis, chronic kidney disease or lead poisoning. Or you may be pregnant.
Another common blood work panel element is hematocrit or HCT. HCT is basically the level of plasma in your blood. If your HCT is high, it may mean that you are dehydrated. It may also mean that your oxygen level is low, which could be due to smoking, lung conditions, or heart conditions. Otherwise, it may be due to chronic sleep apnea, or a condition affecting your bone marrow.
However, it your HCT is low, it may mean that you have anemia. It may also mean that your medications is causing your HCT to be low. Or individual may have poor nutritional absorption or overhydration.
Another common blood work panel element is mean corpuscular volume or MCV. MCV measures a typical size of the RBC. If the MCV is high, then it may indicate that the red blood cells are larger than normal. If the red blood cells are larger it could indicate anemia due to low vitamin B12, or it could be due to a liver disease.
If the MCV is low, it may indicate that the red blood cells are smaller than normal. If the red blood cells are smaller than normal, it may mean that you have iron deficiency anemia or thalassemia. Or you may have other impairments.
In conclusion, there is many conditions that either a high or low level could mean. As a result, your doctors will use these results in combination with symptoms and other blood work results to help find a diagnosis. Once there is a diagnosis, treatment is typically more effective.