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What does the term RDW mean when reading blood test results?

Discuss Lymphoma, Hodgkins Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

What does the term RDW mean when reading blood test results?

Postby caimheul » Mon May 28, 2012 3:33 pm

I am having trouble understanding the terms MCV, MCH, MCHC, and RDW when reading the results for my red blood cell counts. I know that RDW is supposed to be very important. Thank you. Please don't say ask your doctor. My doctor stopped making my appointments because in their eyes I am refusing treatment when I refused chemotherapy. Thank you.
caimheul
 
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Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:04 am

What does the term RDW mean when reading blood test results?

Postby agustin » Mon May 28, 2012 3:43 pm

I don't have a lot of time now but in short, but still efficient.

Haematocrit is also called packed red cells - this is the total volume of your red cell ALONE. I am not sure how the US measurement works here, but if it says 0.45 for Packed Cell Volume ( Haematocrit), it means that 0.45 out of 1 ( 45% out of 100% ) of your total blood volume is red cells. In your case, I think your Haematocrit level could be converted to 2.32 , which is below normal of 0.4 to 0.45

Your haemaglobin level is 7.4, which is moderately low below normal range for females your age. Haemoglobin is the stuff that binds to oxygen and render your blood a red color. Your red blood cells and their synthesis need this to be fully normal. When a doctor check for your blood test result, he will say " so you are anaemic " - which means that your Hb is lower than normal.

MCV measures mean cell volume, the size of a red cells, yours are within normal range
MCH measures mean cell haemoglobin, how much your red cells carry haemoglobin, yours are within normal range. Similar for MCHC.
With Hb and Haematocrit low (and I guess your total red count as well) and MCV, MCH normal, you are having normochromic anaemia, which means that there is not enough red cells running in your body but their size and the haemaglobin concentration in each cell is normal.

RDW measures the width of red cells, yours is high, indicating moderate/severe anisocytosis, which means that your red cells are NOT UNIFORM in shape. Some will look smaller, some will look bigger, and they don't have that roundish/oval shape that are usual of a normal red cell.
RDW can also indicate poikilocytosis - which means that there is great variability in shapes of red cells. Some might look like a pencil, some might look like a tear drop, some crenated, some contracted, etc.

Your blood profile seems to be fit with someone who has anaplastic anaemia.
agustin
 
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What does the term RDW mean when reading blood test results?

Postby caimheul » Mon May 28, 2012 3:53 pm

Like would I be able to live a normal life and exercise and stuff if my hemo was normal but my RDW was high?
caimheul
 
Posts: 1063
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:04 am

What does the term RDW mean when reading blood test results?

Postby riagan37 » Mon May 28, 2012 3:59 pm

Good for you; not choosing chemo is brae, but there are proven examples of curing it by bolstering the immune system:

1 No sugar
2 Drink carrot juice
3 Get lots of sun
4 Laugh

Here is a link which, among other things explains RDW:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_blood_cell_distribution_width
riagan37
 
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