Blood test

Normal MCV (Mean Corpuscular Volume) level in the blood

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Normal MCV (Mean Corpuscular Volume) level in the blood

What is the normal level of MCV in the blood?

Men: 80 - 100 fl
Women: 80 - 100 fl
Children from 16 to 18 years old: 75 - 89 fl
Children from 6 to 16 years old: 73 - 87 fl
Children from 1 to 6 years old: 70 - 84 fl
Children from 6 months old to 6 years old: 73 - 87 fl
Babies from 2 weeks old to 6 months old: 83 - 97 fl
Newborns: 98 - 112 fl

Why normal levels can differ across different labs?

Each laboratory must establish its own normal ranges for MCV in the blood. These ranges depend on the makeup of the local population, the technologies used and the accuracy of the measurement. There may be also slight differences in the normal levels according to age, gender, race or ethnic origin, geographic region, diet, type of sample and other relevant status.

Your doctor will study the results along with your medical record, screenings, physical condition, symptoms and any other relevant information about your situation.

Besides, pregnant women have a MCV higher than normal, an increase in 3 or 4 fl. in the RBC size.

What is MCV?

MCV means Mean Corpuscular Volume. The MCV describes the mean or average size of the individual RBC (Red Blood Cell) by volume. The MCV is then an indicator of the size of the RBCs.

RBC (Red Blood Cells), also called erythrocytes, are the cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to the body tissues. Besides, they transport back the carbon dioxide from the body to the lungs to be exhaled in the respiratory process. Hemoglobin (Hb), a protein of the RBCs, is the main responsible of this procedure.

MCV expresses the mean volume of the RBCs present in the blood and it is measured in femtoliters (fL). The femtoliter is the metric unit equal to 10-15liters.

What is MCV test used for?

The MCV test is used as the basis of the classification system used to evaluate an anemia. Anemia is diagnosed when the hemoglobin level in the blood is below the normal range.

MCV is not enough to diagnose anemia, but it is the best index to discern the type of anemia.

MCV is reduced in microcytic anemias such as iron deficiency anemia and lead poisoning. Thalassemia, a genetic disease, also causes microcytosis.

MCV is raised in macrocytic anemias, characteristic of megaloblastic anemia due to folic acid or vitamin B12 deficiencies. Macrocytosis is also common in liver disease and it is sometimes used as a marker of recent alcohol intake. Excessive alcohol consumption often increases the MCV before there is liver damage.

If the MCV is within normal reference range, the RBCs are normocytic, or of normal size. Normocytic anemia is seen in acute blood loss (posthemorrhagic anemia), in many hemolytic anemia and in the anemia of chronic disease (by kidney failure for example).

Where can I find more information about MCV level in the blood?

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Which values are considered a normal MCV level in the blood?

The following values are considered to be normal values:

IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in fl (femtoliter). They are an example of a healthy woman of about 45 years old with no known disease and not taking any medication. The ranges can be different depending on the laboratory or on your personal circumstances.

MCV
Normality
80 fl80.1 fl80.2 fl80.3 fl80.4 fl80.5 fl80.6 fl80.7 fl
80.8 fl80.9 fl81 fl81.1 fl81.2 fl81.3 fl81.4 fl81.5 fl
81.6 fl81.7 fl81.8 fl81.9 fl82 fl82.1 fl82.2 fl82.3 fl
82.4 fl82.5 fl82.6 fl82.7 fl82.8 fl82.9 fl83 fl83.1 fl
83.2 fl83.3 fl83.4 fl83.5 fl83.6 fl83.7 fl83.8 fl83.9 fl
84 fl84.1 fl84.2 fl84.3 fl84.4 fl84.5 fl84.6 fl84.7 fl
84.8 fl84.9 fl85 fl85.1 fl85.2 fl85.3 fl85.4 fl85.5 fl
85.6 fl85.7 fl85.8 fl85.9 fl86 fl86.1 fl86.2 fl86.3 fl
86.4 fl86.5 fl86.6 fl86.7 fl86.8 fl86.9 fl87 fl87.1 fl
87.2 fl87.3 fl87.4 fl87.5 fl87.6 fl87.7 fl87.8 fl87.9 fl
88 fl88.1 fl88.2 fl88.3 fl88.4 fl88.5 fl88.6 fl88.7 fl
88.8 fl88.9 fl89 fl89.1 fl89.2 fl89.3 fl89.4 fl89.5 fl
89.6 fl89.7 fl89.8 fl89.9 fl90 fl90.1 fl90.2 fl90.3 fl
90.4 fl90.5 fl90.6 fl90.7 fl90.8 fl90.9 fl91 fl91.1 fl
91.2 fl91.3 fl91.4 fl91.5 fl91.6 fl91.7 fl91.8 fl91.9 fl
92 fl92.1 fl92.2 fl92.3 fl92.4 fl92.5 fl92.6 fl92.7 fl
92.8 fl92.9 fl93 fl93.1 fl93.2 fl93.3 fl93.4 fl93.5 fl
93.6 fl93.7 fl93.8 fl93.9 fl94 fl94.1 fl94.2 fl94.3 fl
94.4 fl94.5 fl94.6 fl94.7 fl94.8 fl94.9 fl95 fl95.1 fl
95.2 fl95.3 fl95.4 fl95.5 fl95.6 fl95.7 fl95.8 fl95.9 fl
96 fl96.1 fl96.2 fl96.3 fl96.4 fl96.5 fl96.6 fl96.7 fl
96.8 fl96.9 fl97 fl97.1 fl97.2 fl97.3 fl97.4 fl97.5 fl
97.6 fl97.7 fl97.8 fl97.9 fl98 fl98.1 fl98.2 fl98.3 fl
98.4 fl98.5 fl98.6 fl98.7 fl98.8 fl98.9 fl99 fl99.1 fl
99.2 fl99.3 fl99.4 fl99.5 fl99.6 fl99.7 fl99.8 fl99.9 fl
100 fl       
Last update: 18/12/2020

Bibliography

  • Concise Book of Medical Laboratory Technology: Methods and Interpretations. 2nd Edition. 2015. Ramnik Sood. ISBN: 978-93-5152-333-8. Pag. 216.
  • A Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Test. 9th edition. Frances Fischbach. Marshall B. Dunning III. 2014. Pag 98. ISBN-10: 1451190891.
  • Laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures with nursing diagnoses (8th ed), Jane Vincent Corbett, Angela Denise Banks, ISBN: 978-0-13-237332-6, Pag. 33.

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