Complete Blood Count: Explained

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Complete blood count (CBC) is an essential part of our routine health check-up; hence it is essential to have an understanding of complete blood count. It is a highly common blood test among all the diagnostic tests. It is a test that provides information regarding white blood cells, red blood cells, hemoglobin, platelets, hematocrit, etc.

Let us get an understanding of the complete blood count. It focuses on looking at different levels of cells in the bloodstream. There are specific ranges for different cells and are useful to detect underlying diseases such as anemia, infections, etc. It is necessary to make sure that we stay healthy and deal with possible issues that we may have with our health.

Have wondered why CBC test is required? Your doctor might advise CBC test for various reasons like – a routine check-up or as a follow-up to monitor certain treatments.

Let’s understand the CBC test in detail:

White Blood Cell Count (WBC) and WBC Differential Count: 

Also known as leucocyte count, it is made up of various types of cells differentiated on their size and shape. The different cells include granulocytes, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils.

Red Blood Cell Count (RBC):

The RBC or erythrocyte count is the number of red blood cells in a volume of blood. Red blood cells are smaller than WBC. They are the most common cell type in blood, and people have millions of them in their blood circulation.

Haematocrit:

This test tells the percentage of your blood made up of red blood cells.

Hemoglobin: 

It is a protein in RBC that transports oxygen from the lungs to the other body parts and carbon dioxide from other body parts to the lungs. The hemoglobin levels diagnose anemia, polycythemia, etc. Neither high nor low hemoglobin is good for your health.

Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV): 

It measures the size (volume) of the RBC.

Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH): 

It measures the amount of hemoglobin in the blood.

Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW): 

It measures how the RBCs vary in size and shape.

Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC): 

It tells you the percentage of your blood cells made up of hemoglobin.

Platelet Count: 

A platelet also called a thrombocyte, helps in forming blood clots. This test measures the number of platelets present in the blood.

Mean Platelet Volume (MPV): 

It measures the average size of the platelets found in your blood.

 

CBC is not diagnostic. However, your doctor will interpret your results along with your symptoms, medical history, and other test results, and will suggest additional tests if necessary.