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What is PCV in Blood Test

What is PCV in blood test
Table of Contents

PCV or ‘Packed Cell Volume’ test is also known as hematocrit test which means ‘to separate blood’. It is a type of blood test done to diagnose multiple abnormalities in the blood such as polycythemia, anemia or dehydration. 

Basically, PCV in blood test determines the proportion of red blood cells in your blood. A doctor will prescribe this test to you for a variety of reasons. If you wonder what is PCV in blood test and why it is done? The answer is that it helps to detect abnormalities, need for blood transfusion, or monitor the response to treatment.

What is PCV in Blood Test?

PCV in a normal blood test to measure the count of hematocrit cells (red blood cells) in the blood. VPRC (Volume of Packed Red Cells) and EVF (Erythrocyte Volume Fraction) are the other names of this test. Low or too high PCV readings can be a sign of certain diseases.
When you refer to a doctor about what is PCV in blood test? He/she will explain to you that it’s a very simple test and diagnose your health. Besides that, they make readings obtained from it regarding the patient’s medical conditions and make the right treatment plan.

Normal values

After knowing what is PCV in blood test, get to know the normal PCV readings which means there is no health abnormality at present and therefore you needn’t worry about your health. 

The normal values of the PCV varies substantially with age, race and gender. For men the normal values of the PCV ranges between 38.3 – 48.6 whereas for women, the PCV range is between 35.5 – 44.9.

Causes of low PCV

If the PCV value is lower than the normal count, it means you are prone to anemia or any health-related problems. If your doctor sees your PCV is low he/she may advise you to take further lab tests to reveal the actual cause of the underlying disease and help you with a solid conclusion.

  You should know the causes of low PCV after getting to know what is PCV in blood test. These include:

  • Anemia
  • Renal diseases
  • Deficiency in minerals or vitamins
  • Side effect by any drug or medicine
  • Loss of blood due to an injury, accident or long-term disease
  • Any inflammatory conditions (Eg: Rheumatoid Arthritis)
  • Infection or disorder in the white blood cells (Leukemia or lymphoma)

Causes of high PCV

If PCV value is higher than the normal count, it can imply dehydration or an abnormal increase in the production of red blood cells. In the common cases of dehydration, the RBC is concentrated in the blood reflecting with higher PCV readings. However, while asking your doctor what is PCV in blood test, get to undergo some further screenings for better findings of the causes.

The most common reason for Hematocrite or elevated PCV is dehydration which can be treated naturally at home by intaking an adequate amount of water and fluids. This reason is not for all cases because some abnormal health conditions can also lead to higher hematocrit (PCV) such as:

Test procedure of PCV

The test procedure is very simple and no special procedures are followed while collecting the sample. A lab technician will simply insert a needle and draw a blood sample from a vein in the arm.

You should know that you may feel a little pain, prickling or tenderness after understanding thoroughly what is PCV in blood test. But the pain is bearable only for a few seconds where you may resume your normal activities afterward.

Read also Master Health Checkup.