Description: A Complete Blood Count or CBC (H/H, RBC, Indices, WBC, Plt) test is a blood test that measures many important features of your blood and counts your red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. A Complete Blood Count can be used to evaluate your overall health and detect a wide variety of conditions such as infection, anemia, and leukemia. It also looks at other important aspects of your blood health such as hemoglobin, which carries oxygen.
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?
The complete blood count is an extremely common test. When people go to the doctor for a standard checkup or blood work, they often get a CBC. Suppose a person is healthy and their results are within normal ranges. In that case, they may not need another CBC unless their health condition changes, or their healthcare professional believes it is necessary.
When a person exhibits a variety of signs and symptoms that could be connected to blood cell abnormalities, a CBC may be done. A health practitioner may request a CBC to help diagnose and determine the severity of lethargy or weakness, as well as infection, inflammation, bruises, or bleeding.
When a person is diagnosed with a disease that affects blood cells, a CBC is frequently done regularly to keep track of their progress. Similarly, if someone is being treated for a blood condition, a CBC may be performed on a regular basis to see if the treatment is working.
Chemotherapy, for example, can influence the generation of cells in the bone marrow. Some drugs can lower WBC counts in the long run. To monitor various medication regimens, a CBC may be required on a regular basis.
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:
- Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity
- Basic Metabolic Panel
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
- Lipid Panel
- Vitamin B12 and Folate
- Prothrombin with INR and Partial Thromboplastin Times
- Sed Rate (ESR)
- C-Reactive Protein
- Epstein-Barr Virus
- Von Willebrand Factor Antigen
Conditions where a CBC test is recommended:
- Aplastic Anemia
- Iron Deficiency Anemia
- Vitamin B12 and Folate Deficiency
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Heart Disease
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Bleeding Disorders
- Epstein-Barr Virus
Commonly Asked Questions:
How does my health care provider use a CBC test?
The complete blood count is a common, comprehensive screening test used to measure a person's overall health status. It can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
- To check for a variety of ailments and disorders.
- Assist in the diagnosis of a variety of illnesses, including anemia, infection, inflammation, bleeding disorders, and leukemia, to mention a few.
- After a diagnosis has been made, keep an eye on the patient's condition and/or the treatment's effectiveness.
- Treatments that are known to influence blood cells, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, should be monitored.
A complete blood count is a set of tests that assesses the three types of cells that circulate in the bloodstream. The following items are included in a CBC:
White blood cells, which are part of the body's defensive system against infections and cancer, as well as playing a role in allergies and inflammation, are assessed:
- The total number of white blood cells in a person's blood sample is measured by a white blood cell count.
Red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body, are assessed as follows:
- The quantity of red blood cells in a person's blood sample is measured by a red blood cell count.
- The overall amount of oxygen-carrying protein in the blood is measured by hemoglobin, which generally indicates the number of red blood cells in the blood.
- Hematocrit is a measurement of how many red blood cells make up a person's total blood volume.
- RBC indices are calculations that give information about the physical features of RBCs:
- The average size of a single red blood cell is measured by the mean corpuscular volume.
- The average quantity of hemoglobin inside a single red blood cell is calculated as mean corpuscular hemoglobin.
- The average concentration of hemoglobin inside a single red blood cell is calculated as mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration.
- The red cell distribution width is a measurement of RBC size variation.
The reticulocyte count, which is a measurement of the absolute count or percentage of immature red blood cells in the blood, may also be included in the CBC.
Platelets, which are cell fragments that are critical for proper blood coagulation, are assessed as follows:
- The number of platelets in a person's blood sample is known as the platelet count.
With a CBC, the mean platelet volume can be reported. It's a calculation of platelet size on average.
A CBC can also reveal the platelet distribution width. It reflects the size uniformity of platelets.
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.
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.