The CBC (H/H, RBC, Indices, WBC, Plt) test contains 1 test with 10 biomarkers.
Brief Description: A Complete Blood Count without Differential (CBC w/o Diff) test is a laboratory test that provides important information about the cellular components of the blood. It measures various blood cell counts and indices to assess overall blood health.
Also Known As: CBC test, Complete Blood Count Test, Total Blood Count Test, CBC with White Blood Cell Count and Platelets Test, Hemogram Test
Collection Method: Blood Draw
Specimen Type: Whole Blood
Test Preparation: No preparation required
When is a CBC test ordered?
A Complete Blood Count without Differential test may be ordered in the following situations:
Routine Health Check-up: It is often included as part of a routine health check-up to assess overall blood cell counts and identify any potential abnormalities.
Evaluation of General Health: A CBC w/o Diff helps healthcare providers assess general health, detect signs of infection or inflammation, and monitor the effects of certain medications or treatments on blood cells.
Screening for Blood Disorders: It can be used as a screening tool to evaluate for blood disorders such as anemia, leukemia, and other conditions affecting blood cell production or function.
What does a CBC blood test check for?
The complete blood count is a blood test that determines the number of cells in circulation. White blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets are three types of cells suspended in a fluid called plasma. They are largely created and matured in the bone marrow and are released into the bloodstream when needed under normal circumstances.
A CBC is mainly performed with an automated machine that measures a variety of factors, including the number of cells present in a person's blood sample. The findings of a CBC can reveal not only the quantity of different cell types but also the physical properties of some of the cells. The following items are included in a conventional CBC:
- White blood cell count.
- RBC count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and RBC indicators such as mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, and red cell distribution width are all used to assess red blood cells. The reticulocyte count may or may not be included in the RBC evaluation.
- Platelet count; may or may not include mean platelet volume and platelet distribution width in platelet evaluation
The CBC focuses on three different types of cells:
White Blood Cells
The body uses five different types of WBCs, also known as leukocytes, to keep itself healthy and battle infections and other types of harm. They are found in relatively steady numbers in the blood. Depending on what is going on in the body, these values may momentarily rise or fall. An infection, for example, can cause the body to manufacture more in order to combat bacterial infection. The amount of white blood cells in the body may increase as a result of allergies. A viral infection may cause an increase in white blood cell production. Abnormal white cells multiply fast in certain illness situations, such as leukemia, raising the WBC count.
Red Blood Cells
The bone marrow produces red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, which are transferred into the bloodstream after maturing. Hemoglobin, a protein that distributes oxygen throughout the body, is found in these cells. Because RBCs have a 120-day lifespan, the bone marrow must constantly manufacture new RBCs to replace those that have aged and disintegrated or have been lost due to hemorrhage. A variety of diseases, including those that cause severe bleeding, can alter the creation of new RBCs and their longevity.
The CBC measures the number of RBCs and hemoglobin in the blood, as well as the proportion of RBCs in the blood, and if the RBC population appears to be normal. RBCs are generally homogeneous in size and shape, with only minor differences; however, considerable variances can arise in illnesses including vitamin B12 and folate inadequacy, iron deficiency, and a range of other ailments. Anemia occurs when the concentration of red blood cells and/or the amount of hemoglobin in the blood falls below normal, resulting in symptoms such as weariness and weakness. In a far smaller percentage of cases, there may be an excess of RBCs in the blood. This might obstruct the flow of blood through the tiny veins and arteries in extreme circumstances.
Platelets, also known as thrombocytes, are small cell fragments that aid in the regular clotting of blood. A person with insufficient platelets is more likely to experience excessive bleeding and bruises. Excess platelets can induce excessive clotting or excessive bleeding if the platelets are not operating properly. The platelet count and size are determined by the CBC.
Lab tests often ordered with a CBC test:
When a CBC is ordered, several other tests are often conducted alongside it to provide a more comprehensive assessment of the patient's health. Here’s an explanation of these commonly ordered tests:
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP):
- Purpose: The CMP includes tests for various blood chemicals, liver and kidney function, blood proteins, and blood sugar levels.
- Why Is It Ordered: To provide information on the general health of organs and body systems, and to check for conditions like diabetes, liver disease, and kidney dysfunction, which can influence the findings of a CBC.
Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) and C-Reactive Protein (CRP):
- Purpose: Both ESR and CRP are markers of inflammation in the body.
- Why Is It Ordered: To detect and monitor inflammation or infection, which can be associated with changes in blood cell counts seen in a CBC.
- Purpose: These tests evaluate the body's iron stores and iron-binding capacity.
- Why Is It Ordered: To diagnose and differentiate types of anemia, particularly iron deficiency anemia, which is a common cause of low red blood cell counts.
Vitamin B12 and Folate Tests:
- Purpose: To measure levels of these essential vitamins, which are necessary for red blood cell production.
- Why Is It Ordered: To diagnose or rule out nutritional deficiencies that can lead to anemia.
- Purpose: To measure the number of young red blood cells (reticulocytes) in the blood.
- Why Is It Ordered: To determine how quickly new red blood cells are being produced by the bone marrow, which can help diagnose the cause of anemia.
Liver Function Test:
- Purpose: To assess liver function, which can affect blood components.
- Why Is It Ordered: Liver diseases can lead to abnormalities in blood counts and blood proteins.
Kidney Function Test:
- Purpose: To evaluate kidney function.
- Why Is It Ordered: Kidney disease can affect the levels of certain substances in the blood and influence blood cell production.
Coagulation Tests (PT, INR, aPTT):
- Purpose: To assess blood clotting ability.
- Why Is It Ordered: To evaluate the clotting system, particularly if the CBC shows abnormal platelet counts or there are clinical signs of a bleeding disorder.
Thyroid Function Tests (TSH, Free T3, Free T4):
- Purpose: To assess thyroid function.
- Why Is It Ordered: Thyroid disorders can affect various blood components, including red and white blood cell and platelet counts.
These tests, when ordered alongside a CBC, provide a comprehensive view of a patient’s health and help in diagnosing the cause of abnormalities found in the CBC. They can reveal issues with blood cell production, inflammation, infection, nutrient deficiencies, organ function, and more. The specific tests chosen will depend on the individual’s symptoms, medical history, and the results of the initial CBC test.
Conditions where a CBC test is recommended:
A Complete Blood Count without Differential test is useful in assessing various conditions or diseases, including:
Anemia: Abnormalities in red blood cell counts, hemoglobin levels, or other parameters can indicate different types of anemia, such as iron-deficiency anemia or vitamin B12 deficiency anemia.
Infections and Inflammation: Changes in white blood cell counts and other indices can suggest the presence of an infection, inflammation, or immune-related disorders.
Blood Disorders: Abnormalities in blood cell counts or morphology may indicate blood disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloproliferative neoplasms.
How does my health care provider use a CBC test?
Healthcare providers use the results of a Complete Blood Count without Differential test to:
Diagnose and Monitor Conditions: Abnormalities in blood cell counts and indices can help healthcare providers diagnose various conditions and monitor the progression or response to treatment.
Guide Further Investigations: Abnormal results may prompt additional tests or evaluations to identify the underlying cause of the blood abnormalities.
Screen for General Health: A normal CBC w/o Diff can provide reassurance about overall blood health and rule out significant abnormalities.
It is important to note that while a Complete Blood Count without Differential test provides valuable information, it is not a definitive diagnostic tool. Additional tests, clinical history, and physical examination findings are crucial for accurate diagnosis and management. A qualified healthcare provider should interpret the results and provide appropriate guidance based on the individual's specific situation.
Can a blood transfusion affect my CBC results?
Yes, a recent blood transfusion will have an effect on your CBC test results.
What do my Complete Blood Count results mean?
A low Red Blood Cell Count, also known as anemia, could be due many different causes such as chronic bleeding, a bone marrow disorder, and nutritional deficiency just to name a few. A high Red Blood Cell Count, also known as polycythemia, could be due to several conditions including lung disease, dehydration, and smoking. Both Hemoglobin and Hematocrit tend to reflect Red Blood Cell Count results, so if your Red Blood Cell Count is low, your Hematocrit and Hemoglobin will likely also be low. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health.
What do my Platelet results mean?
A low Platelet Count, also known as thrombocytopenia, could be due to a number of different disorders including autoimmune issues, viral infection, and leukemia. A high Platelet Count, also known as Thrombocytosis, can also be due to many different disorders including cancer, iron deficiency, and rheumatoid arthritis. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health.
Most Common Questions About the Complete Blood Count test:
Understanding the Test
What is a Complete Blood Count (CBC) test?
The CBC test is a blood test that evaluates the cells that circulate in your blood. This includes red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets. The test provides information about your blood count, cell proportions, and physical characteristics, like the size of your red blood cells.
Why is a CBC test done?
A CBC test is often done as part of a routine health checkup to screen for a variety of disorders such as anemia, infection, and many other diseases. It can also be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment when you're already diagnosed with a disease that affects blood cell counts.
Interpreting the Results
What do the results of a CBC test mean?
CBC test results indicate the levels and characteristics of the different types of cells in the blood. For example, it may show if you're anemic (low red blood cell count or hemoglobin), if your white blood cell count is high (possibly indicating infection), or if your platelet count is low or high, which might affect clotting.
How are the results of a CBC test presented?
The results of a CBC test are presented as counts (such as the number of white blood cells in a volume of blood), percentages (like the percent of total white blood cells that are a specific type of white cell), and physical characteristics (like the average size of your red blood cells).
About the Test
What factors can affect the results of a CBC test?
Certain factors can affect the results of a CBC test, including hydration status, recent exercise, and how long the blood sample was stored before it was processed.
Understanding the Implications
What conditions can cause an abnormal CBC test?
A wide range of conditions can cause abnormal CBC results, including blood diseases (like leukemia or anemia), infections, inflammation, nutritional deficiencies (like iron or vitamin B12 deficiency), and many other medical conditions.
What are the implications of abnormal CBC results?
Abnormal CBC results could indicate a variety of conditions based on which component of the blood is abnormal. It may suggest an infection, inflammation, a blood disorder, or another medical condition. Further diagnostic testing is usually necessary to diagnose the specific cause.
Risks and Precautions
What can cause a low red blood cell count on a CBC test?
Several conditions can cause a low red blood cell count, including nutritional deficiencies (like iron, vitamin B12, or folate deficiency), bone marrow disorders, chronic diseases (like kidney disease), blood loss, and certain genetic conditions.
What can cause a high white blood cell count on a CBC test?
A high white blood cell count can be caused by infections, inflammatory diseases, stress, smoking, tissue damage (such as burns), or diseases affecting the bone marrow like leukemia.
Dealing with Abnormal Results
What steps should be taken if the CBC test results are abnormal?
If your CBC results are abnormal, further testing may be necessary to determine the cause. This might include other blood tests, bone marrow biopsy, genetic testing, or other diagnostic tests.
Interpreting the Test Results
What is considered a "normal" range for the components of a CBC test?
The normal ranges can vary slightly depending on the patient's gender and age, but in general, they are as follows:
- Red blood cell count: Men, 4.2-5.8 million cells/uL; Women, 3.8-5.1 million cells/uL
- Hemoglobin: Men, 13.2-17.1 g/dL; Women, 11.7-15.5 g/dL
- Hematocrit: Men, 38.5%-50.0%; Women, 35.0%-45.0%
- White blood cell count: 3,800 to 10,800 cells/uL
- Platelet count: 140 to 400 thousand/uL
How can I interpret my CBC test results?
Your healthcare provider is the best person to interpret your CBC results. They will consider the results in the context of your overall health, medical history, and any symptoms you have.
Understanding the Importance of the Test
Why is a CBC test important for patients with chronic diseases?
A CBC test can help monitor the status of chronic diseases, as many can impact the blood. For instance, kidney disease can affect red blood cell production, while chronic infections can impact white blood cell counts.
Discussion with Healthcare Provider
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider after receiving the CBC test results?
You should discuss any abnormalities, how they might relate to symptoms you're experiencing, and potential next steps, which could include further testing or treatment changes.
Relationship with Other Tests
Why might a healthcare provider order a CBC test with a differential?
A CBC with differential not only counts the total number of white blood cells but also determines the percentage of each type of white blood cell. This can provide additional information to help diagnose various conditions, including infections, allergies, and diseases of the blood and immune system.
Understanding the CBC Components
What does the red blood cell count in the CBC test indicate?
The red blood cell count in the CBC test indicates the total number of red blood cells in a volume of blood. Red blood cells are crucial for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. A low count could suggest anemia, while a high count could suggest dehydration or other conditions.
What does the white blood cell count in the CBC test indicate?
The white blood cell count in the CBC test indicates the total number of white blood cells in a volume of blood. White blood cells are crucial for fighting infections and reacting against foreign substances. A high count usually indicates an infection, while a low count could make you more susceptible to illness.
What does the platelet count in the CBC test indicate?
The platelet count in the CBC test indicates the total number of platelets in a volume of blood. Platelets are crucial for blood clotting. A low count can lead to excessive bleeding, while a high count could increase the risk of blood clots.
Beyond the Test
Can a CBC test detect cancer?
While a CBC test can't diagnose cancer directly, it can reveal abnormal blood cell counts which could be a sign of certain types of cancer, like leukemia. Further diagnostic tests would be needed to confirm a cancer diagnosis.
Can a CBC test detect infections?
A CBC test can suggest an infection if your white blood cell count is high. However, it can't identify the specific type of infection. Further testing would be needed to identify the cause of the infection.
Can changes in lifestyle or diet influence the results of a CBC test?
Yes, certain lifestyle and dietary changes can influence the results of a CBC test. For example, severe malnutrition can lead to anemia, while excessive alcohol consumption can affect white blood cell count.
Comparison with Other Tests
How does a CBC test compare with a blood chemistry test?
While a CBC test measures the quantity and characteristics of different types of cells in the blood, a blood chemistry test measures the levels of different chemicals in the blood, such as glucose, electrolytes, and enzymes.
What is the difference between a CBC test and a blood smear?
A CBC test quantifies the different types of cells in the blood, while a blood smear allows for the visual examination of these cells under a microscope. A blood smear can reveal information about the size, shape, and physical characteristics of blood cells that a CBC can't.
Potential Next Steps
If a CBC test shows a high red blood cell count, what might the next steps be?
If a CBC test shows a high red blood cell count, your healthcare provider may order additional tests to determine the cause. These could include tests for conditions that increase red blood cell production, like polycythemia vera or heart disease.
If a CBC test shows a low white blood cell count, what might the next steps be?
If a CBC test shows a low white blood cell count, your healthcare provider may order more tests to determine the cause. These could include tests for conditions that decrease white blood cell production or increase their destruction, like certain autoimmune diseases, bone marrow disorders, or severe infections.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.
NOTE: Only measurable biomarkers will be reported.