General

UNDERSTAND THE BLOOD COUNT

Generalities

HEMOCROME is a blood test that is most commonly requested because it helps to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

This test is also known as hemochromocytometric exam. It involves the evaluation of various parameters that relate to blood’s main components.

The number of all blood cells, i.e. Red blood cells (erythrocytes), leukocytes (leukocytes), and platelets (thrombocytes).

Leukocyte formula is the percentage of different types of white cells, such as neutrophils and lymphocytes as well as monocytes and eosinophils.

The percentage of blood volume that is occupied by erythrocytes, or hematocrit

Analyse of the physical characteristics (shape, size) of red blood cell and platelets using parameters such as:

MCV (measuring the average size red blood cells)

MCH (mean hemoglobin concentration of red blood cells)

MCHC (mean hemoglobin concentration in blood cells);

RDW (variability of red blood cells size);

MPV (measurement indicating the average size of a platelet)

It is what it is

The CBC test can give the doctor important information about the corpuscular portion of the blood. The part occupied by white, red and platelets (GB), respectively. These cells are made in bone marrow. They are released into bloodstream when they are mature.

The CBC is typically performed with automated instruments that measure various parameters. These include the number of cell types in the blood sample being tested. The test also provides information about the physical characteristics of certain elements.

The following are the basic components of a standard CBC:

 

Red blood cells or erythrocytes are the most abundant blood cells. The shape of erythrocytes is a biconcave disc (slightly flattened at the center). They have a distinctive red color due to hemoglobin (an iron-containing protein that transports oxygen in the blood).

The average red blood cell life span is 120 days. They are then eliminated in the spleen. Therefore, the bone marrow must continue to produce new cells in order replace those that have been destroyed, lost, or died during a bleeding.

The CBC evaluates red blood cells by measuring the GR count, hemoglobin, Hb, and hematocrit. Sometimes, the erythrocyte indices are the mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin, mean hemoglobin concentrations in corpuscles (MCHC), or the width of erythrocyte dispersion (RDW). Reticulocyte counts, which are precursors to mature red cells, may or not be included in the CBC.

Evaluation of white blood cell (or leukocytes),: These cellular elements are responsible for protecting the body from foreign substances, infectious agents and other damage. The immune system plays an important role in inflammation and allergies.

White blood cells can be divided into two groups: granulocytes, eosinophils/neuophils, and basophils; and mononuclear (lymphocytes/monocytes) cells.

Part of the CBC examination is the white blood cell count. This is an assessment of the total leukocytes in blood. These cells are found in blood in a fairly constant amount. However, their numbers may fluctuate depending on what is going on in the body.

A differential white blood cell count (leukocyte formulation) may be included in the CBC. This information is used to identify and count the different types of leukocytes in the body and can be used to determine if there are any allergies, severe stress reactions, or infections. A few diseases such as leukemia can cause abnormal white blood cells (immature and mature) to multiply quickly, increasing the overall number.

Evaluation of platelets or thrombocytes: These are the smallest blood cells and have the appearance of small discs. They are made by bone marrow. Platelets play an important part in blood clotting and have a life expectancy of around 10 days.

After trauma, or small lesions on the walls of blood vessels, the thrombocytes travel to the affected area and attach themselves along the edges, stopping the bleeding. They may become more susceptible to excessive bleeding, or lead to the formation ecchymoses.

CBC will generally count these cell types; evaluation may include or not include platelet distribution width (PDW) and mean platelet volume [MPV]

It is measured

The CBC can be used to evaluate the general health of the individual and to diagnose or confirm the existence of certain diseases. This examination is not only recommended for healthy people, but can also be used to diagnose or monitor various diseases and conditions that affect blood cells such as anemia, recurrent infection, inflammation, coagulation disorders, or tumors. This allows the doctor to determine his suspicions, and may prescribe additional tests to provide a more detailed clinical picture.

After diagnosis, the CBC exam can be used to monitor and/or evaluate the effectiveness of treatments.

 

What time is an examination necessary?

In the following situations, the doctor may recommend CBC exams:

 

Routine examinations

If the patient displays signs and symptoms that could be linked to diseases affecting blood vessels;

Monitoring on a regular basis for any disease conditions or treatment regimens (especially blood cell damage, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy).

A significant abnormality in one or more of the blood cell populations could indicate one or more diseases. These cases are often treated with additional tests, such as blood smears or bone marrow biopsies, to help determine the cause and provide further information to the doctor.

 

Normal values

Hematocrit (Ht).

Hematocrit (Ht is volume of “packed” red blood cells) measures the ratio of total volume of red blood cell volume to total blood volume. It is also used to describe the volume of “packed cells”.

 

The Hematocrit gives us an idea of the degree to which blood density is. If it is higher than normal, it indicates that blood is viscouser and there is a greater chance of thrombosis.

 

Hemoglobin (Hb).

Hemoglobin, the most important oxygen transporter protein, is found in erythrocytes. It is a pigment of red.

 

Adult men have a range of 13.5-18 g/dl. (g/dl = grams hemoglobin per deciliter in blood). Women are between 12-16 g/dl. Currently, in order to measure it, the laboratories used for the haemochrome-citometric examination use automatic cell counters that measure the haemoglobin directly inside the red blood cells.

 

Only a person can donate blood if the minimum safe level is met. These figures correspond to a hemoglobin level of approximately 12.5 g/dl for women, and 13.3 g/dl for men.

 

High values – Causes

Red blood cells or erythrocytes count

A rise in red blood cell count (polycythemia), is rare. Mediterranean anemia is a condition in which the number of erythrocytes is higher than normal and smaller than usual.

There are several benign causes for increased red blood cell count:

 

Considerable dehydration is most often related to repeated episodes of diarrhea.

Oxygen deficiency (prolonged stays at high altitudes, smoking, etc. These are the most common causes.

Consumption of erythropoietin (hormone which regulates red blood cells production by the bone-marrow) is a must for athletes.

White blood cells (or Leukocytes) counted with the leukocyte formula

Even mild infections can lead to an increase in white blood cell count (leukocytosis), intense stress, and certain forms of cancer (leukemia, myeloproliferative diseases).

 

The risk factors for leukocytosis include intense exercise, trauma, burns and inflammatory processes.

 

Platelet count

Thrombocytosis is a condition where there is too much platelet count. This could be caused by an infection or surgery.

 

An increase in platelet count can be caused by bone marrow disease (e.g. Myeloproliferative diseases, polycythemia and other cancers can lead to an increase in platelet count.

 

Concentration of hemoglobin and hematocrit

Hemoglobin is a function of hemoglobin count and hematocrit. Hb may rise if there is fluid loss, respiratory failure or polyglobulia. This refers to an excess of red blood cells in blood.

The number of red blood cell count is a measure of the hematocrit. Dehydration is the main cause of higher than normal hematocrit values. However, other factors such as polycythemia vera and acute renal failure can also play a role in altering the hematocrit.

Low blood count – Causes

Red blood cell (or erythrocyte) count

Anemia can be detected if the red blood cells count is lower than normal or the hemoglobin levels are reduced.

Red blood cell count reductions could also be caused by:

 

Acute or chronic bleeding (e.g., hemorhoids, gastrointestinal ulcers):

Hemolysis is the destruction of blood cells due to a post-transfusion immune reaction.

Nutritional deficiencies (e.g., iron deficiency anemia, vitamin B12 or folate deficiency, etc. These are some examples.

Bone marrow damage or disorders;

Chronic inflammatory disease;

Failure of the renal system.

Leukocyte formula can count white blood cells (or leukocytes)

Low white blood cell counts, also known as leukopenia or low white blood cells, can be constitutional if there are no limits.

 

However, a marked decrease in leukocytes should be interpreted as a sign of bone marrow dysfunction. This is done to exclude diseases, damage, or neoplastic process (eg, lymphomas, leukemias, or other types of cancers) A reduced white blood count could also indicate liver dysfunction, viral hepatitis or other immune system disorders.

 

Number of plates

Plateletopenia is a condition where the platelet count drops below a certain level. This can lead to bleeding or premature death. This could be caused by infection, certain medications (acetaminophen and quinine as well as sulfa drugs), myelodysplasia and autoimmune disorders.

 

Hemoglobin Concentration & Hematocrit

Hematocrit and hemoglobin usually reflect the red blood cell result. This provides additional information. Sideropenic anemia, which is caused by iron deficiency, can lead to hemorhage and prolonged aerobic exercise that leads to chronic renal failure.

How it is measured

Electronic machines called blood cell counters are used to count red blood cells as well as white blood cells (blood cells). They use two principles, impedance or light scattering, to do so.

Some parameters can be called absolute. They are calculated directly from an instrument. Others are derived from it. The absolutes include the number of red blood cell, hemoglobin(Hb), MCV and Hematocrit (Hct). The derivatives of absolutes are the mean cell hemoglobin and mean cell hemoglobin concentrations (MCHC).

 

How blood tests are performed

A blood sample from the arm vein is used to perform the CBC. In infants, a few drops from blood are taken with a small needle from a fingertip/foot.

The tubes that contain an anticoagulate keep the blood liquid are used to collect it.

The patient must expose their arm to perform the collection. After locating the vein, the operator places a cotton ball that has been soaked in disinfectant on the arm. A slight tingling sensation is felt by the patient, which lasts only a few seconds.

Preparation

Fasting is not required to take part in the blood draw for evaluation. The corpuscular portion of the blood is examined, i.e. The cells are not affected by the fact that you have eaten or drank.

If you need to do a test on plasma that requires fasting, such as to determine glycemia and cholesterol, it will be necessary for you to come to the laboratory with an empty stomach. Your case can be helped by the general practitioner who performed the analysis.

Interpretation

The doctor interprets the results from the entire blood test.

Based on the purpose of the analysis and the suspected cause of the problem, additional investigations such as a blood test or complete metabolic panel may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis. A bone marrow biopsy and culture examination of the affected region (e.g. blood culture, urine culture etc.) are some other generic tests that may be performed. ), and evaluation of indices for inflammation (PCR and ESR).

 

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