What does MCV mean in a blood test when it is high?

Meaning. Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) is a number that describes the average size of red blood cells circulating in the bloodstream. Thus, a high MCV would mean that the red blood cells are larger than average and a low MCV would mean they are smaller than average.

What causes red blood cells to be enlarged?

Hypothyroidism. A side effect of certain medications, such as those used to treat cancer, seizures and autoimmune disorders. Increased red blood cell production by the bone marrow to correct anemia, for example, after blood loss. An underlying bone marrow cancer called myelodysplastic syndrome.

Does MCV increase with age?

The life span of RBCs is shorter in older adults, and the production of RBCs increases in compensation. A higher percentage of young cells are found in the circulation, leading to higher MCV. MCV levels appear to increase over time and do not appear to be explained by anemia.

How high can MCV levels go?

High. In pernicious anemia (macrocytic), MCV can range up to 150 femtolitres. An elevated MCV is also associated with alcoholism (as are an elevated GGT and an AST/ALT ratio of 2:1). Vitamin B12 and/or folic acid deficiency has also been associated with macrocytic anemia (high MCV numbers).

Can thyroid affect red blood cells?

Thyroid hormones have a crucial role in metabolism and proliferation of blood cells. Thyroid dysfunction induces different effects on blood cells such as anemia, erythrocytosis leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and in rare cases causes’ pancytopenia. It also alter RBC indices include MCV, MCH, MCHC and RDW.

Do enlarged red blood cells cause fatigue?

General symptoms of macrocytosis are related to anemia and include fatigue, poor concentration, dizziness, pallor, and shortness of breath. In severe cases, macrocytosis can lead to neurological symptoms, such as confusion, dementia, depression, loss of balance, and numbness or tingling in the arms and legs.