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RBC Indices

Red blood cell (RBC) indices are individual components of a routine blood test called the complete blood count (CBC). The CBC is used to measure the quantity and physical characteristics of different types of cells found in your blood.

RBC Indices

RBC indices : MCV, MCH, MCHC, RDW


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Test Panel: Hemoglobin, Red Blood Cells (RBC), HCT, MCV, MCH, MCHC, Platelets Count, White Blood Cells (WBC), DLC, ESR

Why Get Tested:

  • These tests are useful for the diagnosis of the various types of Anemia.

When to get Tested:

  • when you have signs and symptoms of anemia (weakness, fatigue).
  • when you have signs and symptoms of polycythemia (dizziness, headache)
  • At regular intervals to monitor a disorder that affects RBCs and to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment

Sample Required:

  • For Blood indices, the best sample is EDTA blood.
  • Collect the blood in the lavender top tubes.
  • Transport the blood to the lab where blood is run in the hematology analyzer for the calculation of blood indices.
  • Blood is stable for 6 hours at 25 °C and for 24 hours at 4 °C.
  • Fetal blood is collected percutaneous from the umbilical area. 

Precations for sample

  1. Abnormal size of RBC may affect indices.
  2. Increased count of WBC will affect the indices.
  3. Increased reticulocytes count leads to abnormally high MCV.
  4. The presence of cold agglutinins gives false increased values of MCH, MCHC, and MCV.

Referance Ranges:

Test NameMaleFemale
MCV75 – 95 fl75 – 95 fl
MCH26 – 32 pg26 – 32 pg
MCHC30-35 g/dl30-35 g/dl
RDW11% – 14.5% 11% – 14.5%


  1. Increased in:
    1. Pernicious anemia (vit B12 deficiency).
    2. Folic acid deficiency.
    3. Antimetabolite treatment.
    4. Chronic liver disease.
    5. Alcoholism.
  2. Decreased in:
    1. Iron deficiency anemia.
    2. Thalassemia.
    3. Chronic diseases.


  1. Increased in:
    1. Macrocytic anemias.
    2. Newborn.
  2. Decreased in:
    1. Microcytic anemias.
    2. Hypochromic anemia.


  1. Increased in:
    1. Spherocytosis.
    2. Newborn and infants.
  2. Decreased in:
    1. Iron deficiency anemia.
    2. Thalassemia.
    3. Microcytic anemia with chronic blood loss.

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