Red Blood Cell Count
What is RBC Count?
This test measures the amount of red blood cells (RBC), also known as erythrocytes in the blood. RBCs are formed in the bone marrow and contain hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen to the tissues in the body. This test is mostly used for the diagnosis of anemia and is often done as a part of complete blood count for routine health examination.
A low RBC count is manifested by fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, lightheadedness while changing positions quickly, increased heart rate, headache and pale skin. While symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, joint pain, tenderness in the palms and soles, itching skin and sleep disturbance indicate high RBC count.
An abnormally high level of RBCs, also known as erythrocytosis might be an indication of excessive cigarette smoking, hypoxia, congenital heart disease, dehydration, renal cell carcinoma, pulmonary fibrosis and polycythemia vera.
Interpreting RBC Count results
The normal range of red blood cells is 4.7 to 6.1 million cells per micro litre for men, 4.2 to 5.4 million per micro litre for women and 4 to 5.5 million cells per micro litre for children.