What does MCV mean in the blood and what is its norm?

Erythrocytes, like other elements of blood, perform their functions in the body. Red blood cells are responsible for supplying organs with oxygen and carbon dioxide, transporting enzymes, lipids and amino acids, regulating acid-base balance, adsorbing toxins and antibodies, and participating in the dissolution of thrombi. Any significant changes in their qualitative and quantitative characteristics signal pathological processes.

Morphological parameters of these elements are estimated using such calculated values ​​as erythrocyte indices. One of them is MCV.So in the analysis of blood the mean volume of erythrocytes is designated, and it is measured in femtolitres or micrometers of cubic, respectively - fl or μm³.

MCV is one of the indicators of the state of red blood cells and is determined during general analysis. It allows you to obtain more accurate and objective results on the volume of red blood cells, compared with a visual assessment during a routine microscopic examination. Calculate it by dividing the hematocrit( the volume of blood that falls on erythrocytes in 1 mm³) by the total number of red blood cells. The value of the average volume will not be reliable with a large number of red cells with different sizes and different shapes.


MCV norm is not constant, varies with age and depends on the gender of the .The maximum normal value of the average volume of red cells is observed in newborns - 90-140 fl. By one year MCV changes to 71-84 fl., In the period from 5 to 10 years it is equal to 75-87 fl. In 15-18 years the volume of erythrocytes in women reaches 78-98 fl., In men - 79-95 fl. From 18 to 45 years - 81-100 pounds in women, 80-99 fl. In men. From 45 to 65 years - 81-101 pounds in women and men. At the age of 65 years the MCV rate is from 81 to 103 fl.

If the erythrocytes in the analysis are normal, they are considered normocytic, with a value below 80 fl, the condition is called microcytosis, if MCV is above 100 - macrocytosis.

Purpose of the

analysis MCV performs a differential diagnosis of anemia. This indicator is important for the doctor, as it confirms the hematological problem and allows to find out the type of anemia.

In addition, the average volume of red blood cells determines the development of violations in the body of water-electrolyte balance. If the red blood cells are lowered, this may indicate dehydration( hypertonic dehydration).If they exceed the norm, this indicates a different type of dehydration - hypotonic.

Explanation of the

analysis The decoding of the result of the blood test is the responsibility of the attending physician. If MCV is elevated or lowered, it makes it possible to assume the presence of any diseases. In this case, reassessment and other examinations are prescribed.

Based on the value of MCV, which has erythrocytes, anemia of different types is distinguished: normocytic, microcytic and macrocytic.

Digital analyzer for blood
Modern blood analyzers give a more accurate and objective result than a study under the

microscope. If the MCV is within the norm, it is about the development of normocytic anemia, which include the following:

  • hemolytic,
  • aplastic,
  • hemorrhagic,
  • anemia in liver diseases,
  • hepatic,
  • anemia with endocrine pathology.
Read the article:

Test tubes with blood

How to understand that the biochemistry of the blood is normal?

If erythrocytes have an increased average volume, this indicates macrocytic anemia and other pathologies, among which:

  • deficiency of vitamin B12;
  • folic deficiency, megaloblastic and malignant anemia;
  • hypothyroidism;
  • of bowel disease;
  • liver disease;
  • decreased function of the pancreas;
  • bone marrow disease;
  • drug intoxication;
  • alcoholism.

The average volume of red blood cells may slightly increase in smokers and in women taking hormonal contraceptives.

If MCV is lowered, this indicates microciliary anemias, which are caused by the following factors:

  • chronic diseases;
  • with iron deficiency;
  • with malignant tumors;
  • lead poisoning;
  • with reduced production of hemoglobin( thallasemia);
  • with some medications.

Video about the types and symptoms of anemia:

The conclusion of the

MCV in the analysis makes it possible to more accurately determine the average volume of red cells, in contrast to studies under a microscope. The diagnostic value of this indicator lies in the ability to differentiate different anemias.