Low Hemoglobin Hematocrit And Red Blood Cells – Hematocrit (HCT) refers to the proportion of red blood cells (RBCs) in an individual’s blood. Adults with XY chromosomes usually have an HCT ranging from 40% to 54%, and adults with XX chromosomes have an HCT ranging from 36% to 48%. In addition to RBCs, blood has three other main components: white blood cells, platelets, and plasma.
Hematocrit measures the percentage of red blood cells in the total blood volume. A hematocrit test can be done using a capillary tube and a centrifuge machine (ie, a machine that uses centrifugal force to separate blood substances due to their different densities). Usually, hematocrit levels are identified as part of a complete blood count (CBC), but they can also be tested on their own. However, CBC is the most common blood test that measures HCT while also measuring red blood cell count, white blood cell count, hemoglobin levels and the platelets.
- 1 Low Hemoglobin Hematocrit And Red Blood Cells
- 2 Congenital Disorders Of Red Blood Cells
- 3 Iron Deficiency Anemia
Low Hemoglobin Hematocrit And Red Blood Cells
The hematocrit is a very useful laboratory finding since having too few or too many RBCs can be a clinical indication of various medical conditions, such as anemia or polycythemia, respectively. It can also be used to monitor individuals after surgery in order to prevent or screen for complications, such as internal bleeding.
What Is An Hct Blood Test?
Low hematocrit levels, also known as anemia, can be the result of reduced production of RBCs, increased blood loss, increased destruction of RBCs, or a combination of these.
The most common cause of low hematocrit levels is chronic (eg, ulcers, colon cancer) or acute bleeding (eg, trauma, internal bleeding), which leads to significant blood loss. Notably, individuals of reproductive age who are assigned female at birth may have a low hematocrit due to menstruation. However, hematocrit can also decrease due to peripheral destruction of RBCs as seen in conditions such as sickle cell anemia, where RBCs have a shorter lifespan; and splenomegaly (ie, enlargement of the spleen), where a large number of healthy RBCs are destroyed in the spleen. Another cause of low hematocrit is a decrease in the production of RBCs, as seen in chronic inflammatory diseases, or bone marrow suppression caused by radiation therapy, malignancies, or drugs such as chemotherapy. Finally, poor nutrition (eg, iron, B12, and folate deficiency) as well as overhydration can also lead to reduced hematocrit levels.
Dehydration, due to fluid loss from repetitive vomiting, overheating, or limited access to fluids, can cause hemoconcentration. In addition, low availability of oxygen triggers the production of new blood cells to transport oxygen around the body and can be caused by smoking; high altitude; congenital heart disease; or certain pulmonary disorders, such as pulmonary fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In addition, true polycythemia, which is characterized by the overproduction of RBCs as a result of increased bone marrow stimulation (ie, myeloproliferation), can cause high levels of hematocrit. Similarly, increased erythropoietin production, either due to androgen use or due to erythropoietin production by kidney, liver and ovarian tumors, can also increase the hematocrit . Finally, various pathologies of the endocrine system, such as Cushing’s syndrome, can also result in high levels of hematocrit.
Hematocrit measures the percentage of red blood cells in the total blood volume. A wide variety of medical conditions and especially blood disorders can be detected by a hematocrit test. Low hematocrit levels, also known as anemia, can be the result of decreased RBC production, increased blood loss, increased destruction of RBCs, or a combination of the above. On the other hand, high hematocrit levels can be the result of hemoconcentration, or overproduction of RBC, which can be triggered by several factors.
Congenital Disorders Of Red Blood Cells
Dixon, L.R. (1997). The complete blood count: physiological basis and clinical use. The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing, 11 (3), 1–18. DOI: 10.1097/00005237-199712000-00003
Kragh-Hansen, U. (2018). Possible mechanisms by which enzymatic degradation of human serum albumin may lead to bioactive peptides and biomarkers. Frontiers in molecular biosciences, 5: 63. DOI: 10.3389/fmolb.2018.00063 Anemia caused by increased plasma volume is often called dilatory anemia (or hemodilutional anemia). For dilute anemia the level of red blood cells may not be affected while the plasma volume is elevated (hypervolaemia). This can result in a low concentration of hemoglobin and therefore indicate anemia while the number of red cells may indeed be normal. Untreated hypervolemic conditions can lead to heart failure and are associated with increased mortality and readmission rates.
The general medical assumption is that a low hemoglobin concentration is equivalent to a reduced total volume of red blood cells, which, unfortunately, is not always the case as alterations in plasma volume can influence the concentration of hemoglobin independently of red blood cell volume. A high number of anemic patients are actually dilute anemic and these may require different medical treatment than anemic patients, i.e. anemic patients with a reduced volume of red blood cells.
The figure shows examples of how medically diagnosed anemia can be the result of reduced red blood cell volume or expanded plasma volume (another combination also exists). Despite the fact that dilute and true anemia are very different conditions, anemia as diagnosed by hemoglobin concentration is currently treated without consideration of the underlying pathology. In contrast to common belief, recent studies show that the majority of anemic CKD patients and dialysis patients are indeed dilutional anemic rather than anemic.
A Guide To Identifying The Cause Of Anemia In A Neonate (chapter 7)
A recent study shows that red blood cell volume does not correlate well with low hemoglobin concentration in patients with heart failure and cirrhosis, suggesting that changes in plasma volume is the -main pathology for anemia in these patients. In fact, in 39% of patients the main cause of anemia was extended PV.
The research also showed that among the anemic CKD patients in stage 3-5, not on dialysis, that only six patients had a decrease in the volume of red blood cells as the cause of their anemia, while 14 patients had an increase in plasma volume and therefore dilute anaemia. .
In another study, eighteen CKD patients undergoing hemodialysis were anemic as determined by hemoglobin concentration. Of these patients, only nine (50%) were anemic related to low red blood cell volume while all patients showed elevated plasma volume. This study therefore confirms the shortcomings of basing the diagnosis of anemia on the assessment of hemoglobin concentration alone.
The diagnosis of anaemia, based on a low hemoglobin concentration, can be seriously flawed by alterations in plasma volume. This has potential implications for patient treatment as it could be argued that patients with dilutional anemia should be treated for their high plasma volume while anemic patients should be treated for their low red blood cell volume. – blood However, patients diagnosed with anemia and dilute anemia are treated indifferently today.
Hematocrit (hct) Blood Test: High Vs. Low Levels
Detalo automatically determines total blood volume, red blood cell volume and plasma volume in humans in a rapid, safe and accurate manner.
The Detalo Performance is intended for use by athletes and science and is available for purchase today. The Detalo Clinical is currently undergoing medical certification procedures and should be available for clinical use soon. Home > Staying Healthy > Health Food > Tips > Hematocrit Test: Why is it done and how do you prepare for it?
Dr. Avinash SinghHematologist • 20 Years Exp. MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD – Medicine, DM – Clinical Hematology
The hematocrit test can best be defined as a blood test that measures the percentage (or count) of red blood cells in your blood. It should be noted that these cells are mainly responsible for carrying oxygen to different parts of your body, so having an abnormal amount can be indicative of certain health conditions. This test may also be called a ‘packed cell volume’ (PCV) test in medical terms.
Natural Remedies For Anemia During Pregnancy
A hematocrit test, or PCV, is in most cases done as an indispensable part of a complete blood count (CBC). Measuring the proportion (or ratio) of healthy red blood cells in your blood using this test can allow your doctor to more accurately diagnose your condition or monitor your response to any treatment being provided to you.
A hematocrit (or the proportion of red blood cells in your blood) that is lower or higher than normal can indicate one or more underlying health conditions, such as:
A hematocrit blood test is a very simple and common blood test. This test is mainly used to measure the amount (or number) of red blood cells in a blood sample. In addition, it should be noted that no fasting or other special preparations are required before this test.
A PCV (or hematocrit) test is usually performed by a technician or nurse in a blood laboratory or clinic. ‘Hematocrit,’ as already mentioned above, is the percentage (or ratio) of the total blood volume that is occupied by red blood cells. Red blood cells are simply meant to carry essential nutrients and oxygen to the tissues of the (human) body.
Iron Deficiency Anemia
A hematocrit or PCV test requires a blood sample, which is usually taken with the help of a needle from a vein in one of the patient’s arms. The patient may feel some kind of sensitivity at the site (or in the vein) where the needle was inserted, but will be able to resume his normal activities shortly after the blood is taken. That said, it is important to keep the area where the needle was inserted clean and covered
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