Hemogram; It is one of the most common blood tests and is also known as the integer count. Complete blood count is the calculation of the cellular (formed elements) of the blood. Special devices are used to analyze the different components of blood, and blood is usually analyzed in less than a minute. This article contains information about what is a complete blood count test, why it is done, and the results obtained.
Why is a Complete Blood Count Performed?
This test is a blood test used to evaluate a person’s general health and to detect a wide variety of disorders, including anemia, infection, and leukemia. The complete blood count test measures various components and properties in the blood, including:
- WBC or leukocyte count (white blood cell)
- WBC differential count
- Red blood cell count (RBC or erythrocyte count)
- Hematocrit (Hct)
- Hemoglobin (Hbg)
- Average corpuscular volume (MCV)
- Average corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH)
- Average corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC)
- Red cell distribution width (RDW)
- Platelet count
- Average Platelet Volume (MPV)
MCV- Mean corpuscular volume: The average volume of the red blood cell. This is a calculated value derived from the hematocrit and red cell count. The normal range can drop to between 80 and 100 femtoliters (one millionth of a liter).
MCH- Average Corpuscular Hemoglobin: It is the average amount of hemoglobin in the average red cell. This is a calculated value derived from the hemoglobin measurement and red cell count. The normal range is 27 to 32 picograms.
MCHC- Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration: the average hemoglobin concentration in a given red blood cell volume. This is a calculated volume derived from the hemoglobin measurement and hematocrit. The normal range is 32% to 36%.
MPV- Mean Platelet Volume: It is the average platelet size in a blood volume.
While this test can be performed for a variety of reasons, it may be ordered as part of a routine checkup or screening. Or it could be a follow-up test to monitor the effectiveness of certain treatments. The desired situations can be listed as follows:
• It can also be done as part of an assessment based on the patient’s symptoms and overall health.
• To diagnose a medical condition, for example, a high WBC count (leukocytosis) could indicate an infection elsewhere in the body, or less commonly, it could mean an underlying malignancy. A low WBC count (leukopenia) may indicate a bone marrow problem or be related to certain medications such as chemotherapy. The doctor may want the test to follow the WBC count to monitor the response to treatment for infection. Components in the differential of the WBC count also have specific functions and, if replaced, can provide clues for specific conditions.
• May be ordered to monitor a medical condition. A low red blood cell count or low hemoglobin can indicate anemia, which can have many causes. Possible causes of high red blood cell count or hemoglobin (erythrocytosis) may include bone marrow disease or low blood oxygen levels (hypoxia).
• You may be asked to follow a medical treatment. For example, low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) may be the cause of prolonged bleeding or other medical conditions that affect the production of platelets in the bone marrow. Conversely, a high platelet count (thrombocytosis) may indicate a bone marrow problem or severe inflammation.
Abnormal increases or decreases in cell count, as manifested in a complete blood count, may indicate an underlying medical condition that requires further evaluation.
How is a Complete Blood Count Done?
If a person’s blood sample is only being tested for a complete blood count, he or she can eat and drink normally before the test. If the blood sample is also to be used for additional tests, a certain period of fasting may be required before the test. This information will be given to the person by the doctor who wants this test to be performed. For a complete blood count, a blood sample is drawn into a vein in the person’s arm (usually by inserting a needle into the bend of their elbow). The blood sample is sent to a lab for analysis. And the person can resume normal daily activities from where they left off.
Are Full Blood Count Results Accurate?
Complete blood count is typically not a definitive diagnostic test. Depending on the doctor’s reason for recommending this test, results outside of the normal range may or may not require follow-up. A CBC may need to look at the results along with the results of other blood tests, or additional tests may be required. For example, if the person is healthy except for the complaint and there are no signs or symptoms of the disease, results that are slightly outside the normal range in a complete blood count need not be worried and follow-up may not be necessary. But if the person is being treated for cancer, results of a complete blood count outside the normal range may indicate the need to change the treatment plan. In addition, in some cases, if the test results are significantly above or below normal ranges, the person may need to be referred to a doctor who specializes in blood diseases (hematologist).