What Do MCV and MPV Mean in a Blood Test?

SimpleNursing Editorial Team Feb 14, 2023
Blonde female nurse finding out what does MCV and MPV mean in a blood test

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  1. What does MCV mean in a blood test?
  2. What is high MCV in a blood test?
  3. What is low MCV in a blood test?
  4. What does MPV mean in a blood test?
  5. What is high MPV in a blood test?
  6. What is low MPV in a blood test?

As a nurse, there are several lab values you have to memorize, especially for blood tests. One of these important values is mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and mean platelet volume (MPV). So what does MCV mean in a blood test? And MPV?

What does MCV mean in a blood test?

MCV stands for mean corpuscular volume, a measurement of the average size of a patient’s red blood cells. Health care providers usually request an MCV test as part of a complete blood count.

Red blood cells are the most efficient way to deliver oxygen from the lungs to every cell in the body. Without oxygen, cells can’t grow, reproduce, or stay healthy.

MCV Normal Values

80 to 100 fl (femtoliters) for adults.

Studying for the NCLEX? Find more normal lab values here.

What is high MCV in a blood test?

A high MCV means that the red blood cells are too large. If a patient’s MCV is high, they may have macrocytic anemia, a form of anemia that can lead to fatigue and shortness of breath.

What is low MCV in a blood test?

Low MCV means that red blood cells are smaller than average and may indicate that a patient has microcytic anemia. This means that there aren’t enough of them to carry oxygen effectively throughout the body.

What does MPV mean in a blood test?

MPV stands for mean platelet volume. Platelets are small, sticky cells produced in the bone marrow that help blood clot when someone gets cuts or other injuries.

In blood tests, MPV measures the average size of a patient’s platelets.

MPV Normal Values

7 to 12 fL (femtoliters) for adults.

What is high MPV in a blood test?

A high test result means that a patient’s platelets are larger than what’s considered normal. Newer platelets tend to be larger than older ones, so a high number may signal that their bone marrow is making a lot of new platelets.

It could also signify that a patient just recovered from a recent blood loss.

What is low MPV in a blood test?

Low MPV means a patient’s platelets are smaller than what’s considered normal. So you can conclude that their bone marrow isn’t producing enough new platelets.

Low platelet counts are called thrombocytopenia, which is seen in patients with low MPV.

Read here to learn more about BUN levels, another crucial lab value.

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Knowing lab values, including MCV and MPV, is crucial to nursing school studies and real-world nursing.

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