Hematocrit Test – Normal Range

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A hematocrit (he-MAT-uh-krit) test measures the proportion of red blood cells in your blood. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body. Having too few or too many red blood cells can be a sign of certain diseases.

The hematocrit test, also known as a packed-cell volume (PCV) test, is a simple blood test. It’s part of a complete blood count (CBC).

Test Sample

A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm or by a fingerstick (children and adults) or heelstick (newborns)

Test Preparation

None

Result

Generally, a normal range is considered to be:

  • For men, 38.8 to 50 percent
  • For women, 34.9 to 44.5 percent

A lower than normal hematocrit can indicate:

  • An insufficient supply of healthy red blood cells (anemia)
  • A large number of white blood cells due to long-term illness, infection or a white blood cell disorder such as leukemia or lymphoma
  • Vitamin or mineral deficiencies
  • Recent or long-term blood loss

A higher than normal hematocrit can indicate:

  • Dehydration
  • A disorder, such as polycythemia vera, that causes your body to produce too many red blood cells
  • Lung or heart disease

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