Red Cell Distribution Width
What is RDW?
A Red Cell Distribution Width test or RDW test, is performed to measure the range of variation in the size and volume of a person's red blood cells. The RDW test is done to diagnose anemia, thalassemia, diabetes, liver diseases, cancer and heart diseases.
Why is RDW done?
The doctor orders a RDW test if and when-
>The patient exhibits symptoms of anemia such as fatigue, dizziness, cold feet and hands, pale skin etc.
>The patient has a family history of sickle cell anemia, thalassemia or any other genetic hematological condition.
>The patient loses excess blood during any medical procedure or in an injury.
>The patient suffers from a chronic illness like diabetes, HIV/AIDS or Crohn's disease.
>The patient is on a diet that is low in minerals and iron.
>The patient suffers from a long-term infection.
Interpreting RDW results
The normal range for RDW is-
>Adults: RDW-CV 11.6%-15.6%
>RDW-SD - 39-46 fL