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Complete Blood Count
What is CBC?
A complete blood count (CBC) test is a group of tests that provides information about blood cells like Red Blood Cells (RBC), White Blood Cells (WBC) and platelets. It is routinely performed to provide an overview of a patient's general health status.
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-colored 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 hemoglobin which helps in the transportation of oxygen to the tissues. RBC count is the measurement of the 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.
PDW or platelet distribution width refers to the variation of platelet size distribution
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 Coefficient of variation (RDW CV)is a measurement of the variability of the red blood distribution curve and their mean size.
Interpreting CBC results
Meaning of Abnormal CBC Test Results
Decreased levels - Anemia
Increased levels - Polycythemia
Increased levels - Infections, Inflammatory disorders, Leukemia, Myeloproliferative disorders
Increased levels (Neutrophilia) - Acute bacterial infections, Inflammation, Burns
Increased levels (Lymphocytosis) - Acute viral infections, Tuberculosis, Lymphocytic leukemia
Increased levels (Monocytosis) - Chronic infections like tuberculosis, Bacterial endocarditis, Collagen vascular disorders, Inflammatory bowel diseases
Increased levels (Eosinophilia) - Asthma, Allergies, Drug reactions, Parasitic infections
Increased levels (Basophilia) - Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
Increased levels (Thrombocytosis) -Blood Loss, Chronic Infection or Inflammatory Disease, Removal of the spleen
Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about CBC
Frequently Asked Questions about Complete Blood Count
Tests Included (21 tests)
- RDW CV
- Total Leucocyte Count
- Absolute Lymphocyte Count
- Absolute Neutrophil Count
- Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin
- Absolute Basophil Count
- Differential leucocyte Count(includes 5 tests)
Differential Monocyte Count
Differential Neutrophil Count
Differential Lymphocyte Count
Differential Eosinophil Count
Differential Basophil Count
- Red Blood Cell Count
- Mean Corpuscular Volume
- Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration
- Mean Platelet Volume
- Absolute Eosinophil Count
- Platelet Count
- Absolute Monocyte Count