The complete blood count (CBC) is the most common blood test. It analyzes the three major types of cells in blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The CBC counts these cells, measures hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying molecule in red blood cells), estimates the red cells’ volume, and sorts the white blood cells into five subtypes if a CBC with differential is ordered.
This screening test is used to find out about anemia(s), infection(s), inflammation, polycythemia, hemolytic disease and the severity of any blood loss.
Test CBC (Complete Blood Count) can help with the following
Anemia (Iron deficiency)
A complete blood count will give you a good idea if iron deficiency anemia is present. This test is routinely ordered by doctors along with a blood chemistry profile as screening tests.
Often, the MCV (mean corpuscular volume) reported in a CBC will be elevated when a B12 or folic acid deficiency is present. As this is a common chosen screening test, it could be used as an indirect measure of a possible B12 or folic acid deficiency when the MCV is elevated.
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Red Blood Cell
Any of the hemoglobin-containing cells that carry oxygen to the tissues and are responsible for the red color of blood.
White Blood Cell
(WBC): A blood cell that does not contain hemoglobin: a blood corpuscle responsible for maintaining the body's immune surveillance system against invasion by foreign substances such as viruses or bacteria. White cells become specifically programmed against foreign invaders and work to inactivate and rid the body of a foreign substance. Also known as a leukocyte.
The oxygen-carrying protein of the blood found in red blood cells.
A condition resulting from an unusually low number of red blood cells or too little hemoglobin in the red blood cells. The most common type is iron-deficiency anemia in which the red blood cells are reduced in size and number, and hemoglobin levels are low. Clinical symptoms include shortness of breath, lethargy and heart palpitations.