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Morphology, i.e. a general blood test, is helpful in the early detection of many diseases. The morphology results should always be compared with the standards provided by the analytical laboratory performing the test. Interpretation of the results should be accompanied by the examination of the patient, learning about his general he alth, age and lifestyle. Learn how to read your blood count.

Morphologyis a blood test whose results show the content of different types of blood cells.Blood morphologyincludes :

  • erythrocyte (red blood cell) count
  • leukocytes (white blood cells)
  • platelets
  • hematocrit, which is the percentage of elements shaped in the total blood mass
  • hemoglobin concentration
  • percentage of different types of leukocytes based on the total number of leukocytes

These data are used to calculate:

  • mean erythrocyte volume (MCV)
  • mean erythrocyte hemoglobin concentration (MCH)
  • hemoglobin concentration in total red blood cell mass (MCHC)

What influences the blood count?

It is worth knowing that the resultblood counthas many factors - too deep insertion of the needle into a vein, manipulation of the needle, holding the rubber tight on the arm for too long, and even the order of the collected samples.

It should also be remembered that as many as 3/4 of incorrect test results are related to improper preparation for blood collection and the conditions in which the material for testing is stored and transported.

The key factor for the correctness of the resultblood countis whether the material collected for testing at the right time will be sent to the laboratory.

Blood morphology - what does the result below or above normal mean?



Erythrocytes (RBC - Red Blood Cell)

infants - 3.8 M / µl women - 3.9-5.6 M / µl men - 4.5-6.5 M / µl

Increasing above the norm occurs rarely (e.g. in people staying high in the mountains).

Reducing the number of red blood cells is a symptom of anemia. It may be the result of blood loss (e.g. from a stomach ulcer or duodenal ulcer) or the effect of iron, vitamin B12 or folate deficiency. Anothercauses include pregnancy and kidney disease.

Hemoglobin (HGB)

women - 6.8-9.3 mmol / l or 11.5-15.5 g / dl, men - 7.4-10.5 mmol / l or 13.5-17.5 g / dl

Exceeding the norm indicates dehydration of the body.

Low values ​​are a sign of anemia.

Hematocrit (HCT)

children up to 15 years old: 35-39%, women: 37-47%, men: 40-51%

Increased index occurs in a disease called polycythemia and when the body is dehydrated.

Decreased rate suggests anemia.

MCV (Mean Corpuscular Volume)called macrocytosis - average red blood cell volume

80-97 fl

Increase in MCV value does not mean pathology, but when exceeding 110 fl, megaloblastic anemia (caused by vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency) can be expected.

A reduction in MCV (called microcytosis) is most often the result of iron deficiency.

MCH (Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin)mean red blood hemoglobin content; allows you to answer the question whether erythrocytes have normal, too little or too much hemoglobin

26-32 pg

A reduction in MCH values ​​most often indicates iron deficiency anemia.

MCHC (Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration)Mean hemoglobin concentration in the red blood cell, i.e. a measure of erythrocyte hemoglobin saturation (similar to MCH)

31-36 g / dl or 20-22 mmol / l

Reduction in MCHC is typical of iron deficiency anemia and is often seen in menstruating women.

Leukocytes (WBC - White Blood Cell)

4,1-10.9 K / µl (G / l)

Increasing above the norm is a signal that there is an infection in the body or that we are dealing with local or generalized inflammation or leukemia (elevated rates also appear with intense physical exertion, prolonged, excessive stress, and even after longer sunbathing).

Decrease in leukocyte counts can be caused by a deficiency of granulocytes, lymphocytes, or all cells all at once. It can be the result of bone marrow damage caused by a disease or a side effect of treatment (most cancer drugs reduce the number of granulocytes).

Lymphocytes (LYM)

0.6-4.1 K / µl; 20-45%

The number of lymphocytes increases in: lymphomas, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, multiple myeloma, hyperthyroidism and infectious diseases in childhood. Note: higher lymphocyte counts in children up to 4 years of age than in adults is the norm!

Lymphocyte depletion in adults may be a symptom of AIDS and, to a lesser extent, other viral infections; in children, it may be congenital and require treatment as soon as possible.

Monocytes (MONO)

0.1-0.4 G / l

Increasing the number of monocytes may be caused by infectious mononucleosis, chronic bacterial infection: tuberculosis, syphilis, brucellosis, endocarditis, typhoid, protozoal infections, as well as surgical trauma, collagenosis, Crohn's disease, cancer and a symptom of monocytic leukemia.

The reduction in the number of monocytes may be the result of an infection in the body or the use of certain medications (e.g. glycosteroids), but in medical practice it usually has no significant significance.

Thrombocytes (PLT; platelets)

140-440 K / µl (G / l)

Abnormal increase occurs in chronic infections, after exercise, in iron deficiency, after removal of the spleen, during pregnancy and in essential thrombocythemia (a cancer with a mild long-term course).

The reduction in the number of platelets may be due to impaired production of platelets in the bone marrow (due to cancer metastases to the bone marrow or acute leukemias), due to the action of painkillers and antibiotics, autoimmune diseases or their destruction by bacterial toxins.

Blood count with smear - norms

A blood smear is a detailed analysis of the granulocyte content of a collected blood sample. The norm for granulocytes is 2-7 K / µl (G / l)


NEUT (neutrophils)

2.5-6.5 K / µl (G / l)

An increase in the number of neutrophils means local and general infection, cancer, blood diseases (especially myeloid leukemia), it also occurs after injuries, hemorrhages, infarctions, metabolic diseases, in smokers and in women in the third trimester of pregnancy.

The decrease occurs in bone marrow damage, acute leukemia, viral (influenza, rubella), bacterial (tuberculosis, typhoid, brucellosis), protozoal (e.g. malaria) diseases, with cytostatic treatment.


0.1-0.3 K / µl (G / l)

Increasing the number of eosinophils is caused by: allergic diseases (bronchial asthma, hay fever) and parasitic diseases, blood diseases (Hodgkin's disease), psoriasis, taking certain medications (e.g. penicillins).

Reduction in the number of eosinophils is the result of: infections, typhoid fever, dysentery, sepsis, injuries, burns. Values ​​below the normal range may also be associated with increased physical exertion and the result of excessive secretion of adrenal hormones.

BASO (basophils)

<0,1 K/µl (G/l)

Increasing the number of basophils occurs in: allergic diseases, chronic myeloid leukemia, chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, ulcerative enteritis, hypothyroidism, chronic myeloid leukemia. It often accompanies convalescence after an infection.

  • Find out what kind of blood donor and recipient you are
  • Check what blood type the child may have
  • Blood tests - complete blood count, biochemistry, smear

The text uses excerpts from the article by Anna Jarosz from the monthly "Zdrowie".

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