Overview of CBC
What is CBC?
Why is CBC done?
To monitor your overall health as part of a routine check-up
To help detect a variety of disorders including infections, anemia, diseases of the immune system, and blood cancers
To monitor an existing blood disorder
To monitor treatment that is known to affect blood cells such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy
What does CBC Measure?
Blood is composed of blood cells suspended in blood plasma (yellowish coloured liquid). The blood cells include red blood cells (also called RBCs or erythrocytes), white blood cells (also called WBCs or leukocytes) and platelets (also called thrombocytes).
Red blood cells (RBCs) are the most abundant blood cells. RBCs contain the hemoglobin which helps in the transportation of oxygen to the tissues. RBC count is the measurement of number of RBCs in a given volume of blood.
Packed Cell Volume (PCV) or Hematocrit (Hct) is the measurement of the blood volume occupied by RBCs. It is expressed in percentage.
White blood cells (WBCs) are key components of the immune system and thus protect the body from various infections and cancers. Total Leucocyte count (TLC) is the measurement of the total number of leukocytes (WBCs) in a given volume of blood.
There are five types of WBCs:
Differential Leucocyte Count (DLC) determines the percentage of different types of WBCs.
Neutrophils, Basophils, and Eosinophils are called Granulocytes because of the presence of granules inside these cells.
Absolute count of different types of WBCs is the measurement of their absolute numbers in the given volume of blood.
Platelet count - Platelets (also called thrombocytes) are disc-shaped cell fragments without a nucleus that help in blood clotting. Platelet count is the measurement of the number of platelets in a given volume of blood.
Mean Platelet Volume (MPV) is a measurement of the average size of platelets.
Hemoglobin (Hb) - Hemoglobin (Hb) is a protein found in red blood cells (RBCs) that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body tissues, exchanges the oxygen for carbon dioxide, and then carries the carbon dioxide back to the lungs where it is exchanged for oxygen.
Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) is the average volume of a red blood cell.
Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH) is the average amount of hemoglobin in the average red blood cell.
Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) is the average concentration of hemoglobin in a given volume of red cells.
Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW)is a measurement of the variability of red blood cell size
Preparation for CBC
- No special preparation required
Sample Type for CBC
Interpreting CBC results
13.2-16.2 gm/dL (Male)
12.0-15.2 gm/dL (Female)
Red Blood Cell Count (RBC)
4.3-6.2 million/µL (Male)
3.8-5.5 million/µL (Female)
3.8-5.5 million/µL (Infant/Child)
White Blood Cell Count (WBC)
Platelet Count (Plt)
1.4 - 4.5 lakhs/µL
Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW)
Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV)
82-102 fL (Male)
78-101 fL (Female)
Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH)
Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC)
Mean Platelet Volume (MPV)
The abnormal CBC test results may be interpreted as:
Decreased level of hemoglobin is suggestive of anemia while increased levels are seen in polycythemia (a disorder in which your body makes too many red blood cells). Various causes of anemia are iron deficiency anemia, vitamin B 12 deficiency anemia, hemolytic anemia
High WBC count is associated with infections, inflammatory disorders, leukemia, myeloproliferative disorders while low levels may be seen in aplastic anemia, bone marrow disorders, autoimmune conditions
High neutrophil count (neutrophilia) can be seen in acute bacterial infections, inflammation, burns while lower values (neutropenia) may be seen in aplastic anemia, autoimmune disorders, drug reactions or chemotherapy
High lymphocyte count (lymphocytosis) may be seen in acute viral infections, tuberculosis, lymphocytic leukemia while lower counts (lymphopenia) may be seen in case of bone marrow damage, aplastic anemia, autoimmune disorders
High monocyte count (monocytosis) may be seen in chronic infections like tuberculosis, bacterial endocarditis, collagen vascular disorders, inflammatory bowel diseases while lower values may be seen in bone marrow damage
High eosinophil count (eosinophilia) can be seen in asthma, allergies, drug reactions, parasitic infections, while lower levels are rare and medically insignificant
High basophil count (basophilia) may be seen in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) while lower levels are medically insignificant
Low platelet counts also called as thrombocytopenia are associated with viral infections like dengue fever, bleeding or platelet disorders
Diet, medications, physical activity level, women's menstrual cycle, and other considerations can affect the test results.
Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about CBC
Frequently Asked Questions about Complete Blood Count
Tests Included in Complete Blood Count(24 tests)
- Packed Cell Volume
- Differential leucocyte Count(includes 6 tests)
Differential Eosinophil Count
Differential Neutrophil Count
Differential Monocyte Count
Differential Granulocyte Count
Differential Lymphocyte Count
Differential Basophil Count
- Absolute Monocyte Counts
- Red Blood Cell Count
- RDW SD
- Platelet Count
- Total Leucocyte Count
- Red Cell Distribution Width
- Mean Corpuscular Volume
- Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin
- Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration
- Mean Platelet Volume