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Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV)

The MCV is a measure of the actual volume occupied by a red blood cell.

This measurement is clinically significant in the presence of anemia as it allows for categorizing the type of anemia.

Causes of Macrocytic Anemia (Increased MCV)

  • Poor diet
  • Starvation
  • Malabsorbtion
  • Intestinal diseases
  • Malignancy
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Alcoholism
  • Pregnancy

Causes of Normocytic Anemia (Normal MCV)

  • Hemorrhage
  • Hemolysis
  • Bone marrow malfunction

Normal Values*

MCV 87-103 cubic µm/red cell

*These are general values taken from a variety of sources. The actual normal values may vary from lab to lab and from one type of testing protocol to another.

Source: Operational Medicine 2001,  Health Care in Military Settings, NAVMED P-5139, May 1, 2001, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Department of the Navy, 2300 E Street NW, Washington, D.C., 20372-5300