Mean Corpuscular Volume; MCV

Also Know as: MCV Blood Test


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Last Updated 1 May 2024


About Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV Test

The Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV Test is an important part of a Complete Blood Count (CBC). It helps doctors understand the average size of red blood cells (RBCs). This test is crucial for diagnosing and keeping track of various blood disorders.

Doctors use the Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV Test during regular health check-ups to check for anemia and to monitor known blood issues. By looking at the average size of red blood cells, the MCV test helps categorize them as small, normal, or large, which gives important details about blood health.

Throughout this page, we'll explore why the Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV Test matters, how to understand its results, any risks involved, and its role in keeping blood health in check.


When Is the Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV Test Prescribed?

Healthcare providers might recommend a Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV Test for various reasons, including:

  1. Anemia Evaluation: As part of investigating the cause of anemia, the MCV test helps determine the type of anemia based on RBC size.

  2. Monitoring Blood Disorders: For individuals with known blood disorders, the MCV test assists in tracking changes in red blood cell size.

  3. Nutritional Assessment: To assess nutritional deficiencies, as certain nutrient deficiencies can impact the size of red blood cells.

  4. Health Check-ups: As a routine component of health check-ups, especially for those with a history of blood-related issues.


When Should I Take the Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV Test?

You should consider taking the Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV test in the following situations:

  1. Anemia Symptoms: If you experience symptoms like tiredness, pale skin, weakness, shortness of breath, or dizziness, your doctor may recommend an MCV test to help diagnose the type and severity of anemia.

  2. Routine Health Check-up: Your doctor may include the MCV test as part of your routine health check-up to assess your overall blood health and identify any potential issues early on.

  3. Monitoring Treatment: If you have been diagnosed with anemia or another blood disorder, your doctor may order regular MCV tests to monitor your response to treatment and track any changes in your blood cell size over time.

  4. Diagnosing Other Conditions: In addition to anemia, the MCV test can also help diagnose other medical conditions such as liver disease, thyroid disorders, vitamin deficiencies, or certain cancers that may affect red blood cell production or size.

  5. Before Surgery: If you are scheduled to undergo surgery or a medical procedure that may affect your blood health, your doctor may order an MCV test as part of pre-operative screening to ensure that your blood cell count and size are within normal ranges.

By taking the MCV test as recommended by your doctor, you can help identify and address any potential blood-related issues early on, leading to better overall health outcomes. Always follow your doctor's advice regarding when to take this test and how to interpret the results.


What Does the Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV Test Measure?

The MCV test assesses the mean volume of red blood cells, offering insights into their size. Depending on the MCV value, this can be classified as microcytic (small cells), normocytic (normal-sized cells), or macrocytic (large cells).


How to Prepare for the Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV Test?

In most cases, no specific preparations are required for the MCV test. It is often conducted as part of a CBC, and your healthcare provider will provide specific instructions.


What Happens During the Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV Test?

The MCV test is a component of the CBC, involving a simple and relatively painless procedure:

  1. A medical practitioner will obtain a small blood sample from your arm

  2. The process is quick and minimally invasive, with minimal discomfort

Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV Normal Range

The normal range/level for Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) falls between 80 and 100 femtoliters (fL). This range may vary minutely depending on the lab and the specific method used for testing.

Here's what the normal range means:

  • Below 80 fL: If your MCV levels are below 80 fL, it may indicate that your red blood cells are smaller than usual. This condition is known as microcytosis and can be caused by issues like iron deficiency anemia or thalassemia.
  • Between 80 and 100 fL: Falling within this range is considered normal for most adults. It suggests that your red blood cells are a typical size, indicating healthy blood cell production and function.
  • Above 100 fL: If your MCV levels are above 100 fL, it may indicate that your red blood cells are larger than usual. This condition is known as macrocytosis and can be caused by conditions like vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, folate deficiency anemia, or liver disease.

Understanding your MCV levels can provide valuable insights into your overall blood health. If you have any concerns about your MCV levels, consult with your healthcare advisor for further evaluation and guidance.

Complete Blood Picture Test and MCV in Blood Reports

In addition to the Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV test, a comprehensive blood analysis, often called a Complete Blood Picture (CBP) or Complete Blood Count (CBC), gives a detailed look at various blood parts. The MCV test is crucial in this broader analysis because it tells us about the size of red blood cells.

When doctors look at MCV in blood reports as part of a CBC, they check the average size of red blood cells. They classify them as microcytic (small), normocytic (normal), or macrocytic (large) based on their size.

A high MCV result might mean there are macrocytic red blood cells, hinting at issues like not enough vitamin B12 or folate, or certain medical treatments. On the other hand, a low MCV count might suggest microcytic red blood cells, often seen in conditions like iron deficiency anemia.

The MCV test and the CBC help doctors diagnose and track different blood-related problems, giving a full picture of overall blood health. By using the MCV test regularly with the CBC, doctors can monitor changes in red blood cell size, which helps track how well treatments are working and spot certain medical issues early.

Looking at Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV test results as part of the complete blood picture boosts diagnostic abilities, letting doctors tailor treatments based on a better understanding of blood health.

Individuals need to talk to their healthcare providers to get personalized advice and understand what MCV values mean in the context of their overall blood analysis.

Causes of High Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV Test Results

High Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV test results can be caused by:

  1. Vitamin Deficiencies: Not having enough vitamin B12 or folate can make red blood cells larger, raising MCV levels.

  2. Liver Disease: Liver issues like cirrhosis can affect how red blood cells are made, leading to high MCV levels.

  3. Alcohol Abuse: Drinking too much alcohol can mess with how your body uses vitamins, causing bigger red blood cells and high MCV levels.

  4. Medication Side Effects: Some drugs, like certain chemotherapy meds, can make red blood cells bigger, increasing MCV levels.

  5. Hypothyroidism: When your thyroid isn't working well, it can affect red blood cell size and boost MCV levels.

  6. Bone Marrow Disorders: Problems with your bone marrow, where blood cells are made, can cause bigger red blood cells and high MCV levels.

  7. Smoking: Smoking damages red blood cells, making them bigger and raising MCV levels.

If your MCV levels are high, it's essential to talk to your doctor to find out the cause and get the right treatment.

How to Maintain a Healthy Mean Corpuscular Volume?

Keeping your Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) levels healthy is important for overall well-being, as it provides insights into the size of red blood cells and can indicate various health conditions. Here's what you can do:

  1. Eat a Balanced Diet: Make sure your meals include a variety of nutrients that support red blood cell health. Foods rich in iron, like lean meats and beans, help build strong red blood cells. Vitamin B12, found in fish, poultry, and dairy products, is also important for red blood cell production. Don't forget about folate, which you can get from green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and whole grains. Including these foods in your diet helps ensure that your red blood cells stay healthy and the right size.

  2. Stay Hydrated: Consuming adequate water is essential for keeping your blood flowing smoothly. When you're well-hydrated, your blood can carry oxygen and nutrients to your cells more efficiently. If you're active or it's hot outside, try to drink water throughout the day. By staying hydrated, you're helping your red blood cells do their job properly.

  3. Manage Medical Conditions: If you have any health conditions, like iron deficiency anemia or certain chronic illnesses, it's important to manage them properly. These conditions can affect the size and production of your red blood cells. If you're diagnosed with anemia, your doctor may recommend iron supplements or another course of treatment to help restore healthy red blood cell levels. You can help maintain optimal MCV levels and overall well-being by addressing any underlying health issues.

At Bajaj Finserv Health, we're committed to helping you take charge of your health. Our personalized health programs and access to healthcare professionals can support you in maintaining healthy MCV levels and leading a healthier life.

Benefits of Maintaining a Healthy Mean Corpuscular Volume Level

Maintaining a healthy Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) level is important because it:

  1. Helps carry oxygen efficiently throughout your body.

  2. Prevents tiredness and weakness by avoiding anemia.

  3. Supports a healthy heart and minimizes the risk of heart problems.

  4. Keeps your cells working well.

  5. Boosts your energy and physical performance.

  6. Improves focus and memory.

  7. Strengthens your immune system against illnesses.

Keeping your MCV level in check supports your overall health and keeps you feeling good.

How to Book a Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV Test with Bajaj Finserv Health?

Scheduling a Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV Test with Bajaj Finserv Health is a simple process:

  1. Visit our website

  2. Select the 'Book a Test' option

  3. Choose 'Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) Test' as part of the Complete Blood Count (CBC) package

  4. Specify your preferred laboratory, location, and appointment time

  5. Opt for either 'Lab Visit' or 'Home Sample Collection'

  6. Complete the payment process to confirm your booking

Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV Test Price in India

The price of a Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) test in India varies depending on several factors, such as the location of the lab, the quality of service provided, and any extra services offered. On average, the cost of an MCV test can range from Rs 100 to Rs 500.

Please refer to our comprehensive table given below for MCV Test cost information.


This is not medical advice, and this content should only be considered for informational purposes. Consult with your healthcare provider for individual medical guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a high MCV value indicate?

A high Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) value means that the red blood cells are larger than usual, which is called macrocytic. This might suggest issues like low vitamin B12 or folate levels, or it could be due to certain medical treatments like chemotherapy. Healthcare professionals interpret MCV results considering the patient's overall health and medical history. Further tests may be needed to find the exact cause and determine the right treatment.

Can a low value be related to iron deficiency?

A low MCV value often means the red blood cells are smaller than normal, known as microcytic. This is a common sign of iron deficiency anemia, where the body doesn't have enough iron to make sufficient hemoglobin. Identifying iron deficiency as the cause of a low MCV helps healthcare providers recommend appropriate tests and treatments tailored to the specific type of anemia.

How often should the Mean Corpuscular Volume MCV Test be done?

The frequency of MCV blood tests varies based on factors like a person's health, medical history, and doctor's recommendations. For most people, an annual Complete Blood Count (CBC), which includes the MCV test, is enough for regular check-ups. However, individuals with certain medical conditions or those needing closer monitoring might need tests more often. Healthcare providers decide the right schedule to catch any issues early and manage them effectively.

Can medications or medical conditions affect MCV results?

Yes, medications and health conditions can affect MCV results. It's important to talk to your healthcare provider about any medications you're taking or any medical conditions you have. Some medications or health issues can change the size of red blood cells, which impacts MCV values. Keeping your healthcare team informed helps them accurately interpret results and decide your diagnosis and treatment.