Your Mean Corpuscular Volume Values

What Causes Abnormal Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV)?

Abnormal mean corpuscular volume can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose abnormal mean corpuscular volume, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "abnormal mean corpuscular volume" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Myelofibrosis
  • Thalassemia
  • Vitamin B12 Need
  • Hepatitis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hemolytic Anemia
  • Alcohol Consequences
  • Chronic Inflammation

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
minor chronic inflammation
major unexplained weight gain
high iodine consumption
occasional unexplained vomiting
being a lethargic person
moderate abdominal pain
depression with anxiety
low energy/stamina
PPI antacid use
history of B12 deficiency
regular night terrors
an enlarged nose
... and more than 100 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of abnormal mean corpuscular volume:
Cause Probability Status
Hypothyroidism 90% Confirm
Chronic Inflammation 29% Unlikely
Myelofibrosis 28% Unlikely
Alcohol Consequences 1% Ruled out
Hepatitis 1% Ruled out
Thalassemia 1% Ruled out
Vitamin B12 Need 0% Ruled out
Hemolytic Anemia 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate having had recent lab tests, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV). Unit: Femtoliters; fL
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ Below 75
→ 75 to 81
→ 82 to 98 (normal)
→ Over 98
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate microcytic red cells, normocytic red cells or macrocytic red cells, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Heavy Metal Toxicity

Lead poisoning can lead to the formation of small red blood cells.


Chronic hepatitis can cause enlarged red blood cells.

Parasite Infection

Fish tapeworm infestation can cause enlarged red blood cells.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
Symptom Entry
Symptom Entry
Full Explanations
Optional Doctor Review
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