An anaemia blood test, also known as a complete blood count (CBC) or hemogram, is a common blood test used to evaluate the components of blood and diagnose or monitor anaemia. Anaemia is a condition characterized by a decreased number of red blood cells (RBCs) or a lower level of hemoglobin, which is the protein responsible for carrying oxygen in the blood.
A typical anaemia blood test includes the following components:
- Hemoglobin (Hb): Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Low hemoglobin levels are indicative of anaemia.
- Hematocrit (Hct): The hematocrit measures the percentage of red blood cells in the total blood volume. It is often used in conjunction with hemoglobin levels to assess anaemia.
- Red blood cell count (RBC count): The RBC count determines the number of red blood cells in a given volume of blood. A low RBC count may suggest anaemia.
- Mean corpuscular volume (MCV): The MCV measures the average size of red blood cells. It can provide clues about the underlying cause of anaemia, such as whether it is due to a deficiency of iron, vitamin B12, or folate.
- Mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH): The MCH measures the average amount of hemoglobin within red blood cells. It helps evaluate the amount of hemoglobin per red blood cell and can assist in diagnosing specific types of anaemia.
- Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC): The MCHC measures the concentration of hemoglobin within red blood cells. Abnormal MCHC levels can provide information about the type of anaemia present.
- Red cell distribution width (RDW): The RDW measures the variation in size and shape of red blood cells. It can help determine the cause of anaemia and distinguish between different types.
These blood tests provide valuable information to diagnose and classify different types of anaemia, such as iron deficiency anaemia, vitamin deficiency anaemia, hemolytic anaemia, or chronic disease-related anaemia. Additional tests, such as iron studies, vitamin B12 and folate levels, and reticulocyte count, may be ordered to further investigate the underlying cause.
It’s important to note that anaemia can have various causes, and further evaluation is often necessary to determine the specific cause and appropriate treatment. If you suspect you have anaemia or have symptoms related to anaemia, it is best to consult a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and interpretation of test results.
Please remember that this information is not a substitute for professional medical advice and it’s always best to consult a healthcare provider for personalised guidance and interpretation of test results.