Hematocrit (HCT / CRIT) Lab Test

Erythrocyte Volume Fraction (EVF), Packed cell volume (PCV)
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What is Haematocrit (HCT / CRIT)?

The Haematocrit (Ht or HCT) or packed cell volume is the ratio of blood volume occupied by red blood cells. It is an essential component of an individuals blood count, along with haemoglobin concentration, white blood cell count, and platelet count

Haematocrit is ascertained by spinning heparinized blood in a capillary tube. Haematocrit increases when the amount of red blood cells increase or when the volume of plasma is reduced, like in dehydration. Low Haematocrit indicates the body reduced production of red blood cells or when large amounts of blood is lost due to bleeding indicating anaemia.

Low Haematocrit

Low Haematocrit simply means that the red blood cells is below the normal limits for that person’s age, gender and weight. The main low haematocrit causes are as follows;

  • Bleeding due to ulcers, trauma, colon cancer and internal building.
  • Destruction of red blood cells in diseases like sickle cell anaemia and enlarged spleen.
  • Decreased production of red blood cells due to various factors like bone marrow suppression, cancer and as reaction to certain types of medication.
  • Poor nutrition leading to low levels of Iron, B12 and folate is one of the chief contributing low haematocrit cause.
  • Overhydration.

Low Haematocrit Symptoms

The common low haematocrit symptoms includes;

  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitation
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Low energy levels

High Haematocrit

A high Haematocrit level indicates to the higher percentage of red blood cells in the blood, in regards to the Haematocrit normal value for that person’s age, sex and weight. The primary high haematocrit causes are as follows;

  • Dehydration
  • Low oxygen level
  • Genetic problems like congenital heart disease
  • polycythemia Vera
  • Erythrocytosis
  • COPD
  • Chronic Sleep Apnoea
  • Pulmonary Embolism

High Haematocrit Symptoms

The main high haematocrit symptoms are as follows;

  • Itchiness
  • Headache
  • Blood clot formation
  • Easy bruising
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

What is Haematocrit blood test?

Haematocrit blood test, also called Packed – cell volume test (PCV Test), is a simple blood test that ascertains what percentage of the whole blood does the erythrocytes or red blood cells consists of. The blood is composed of erythrocytes, red blood cells, leukocytes or white blood cells and thrombocytes or platelets, all these together form 45% of the blood while the rest of the 55% of blood is composed of plasma, and as such it is imperative to find out what percentage of erythrocytes (vital oxygen carrying cells) is present in the blood.

Too low or too high percentage of erythrocytes could be indicative of various health issues like anaemia being one of them.

Haematocrit Normal Value

Haematocrit normal range varies and is depended upon varied factors like gender, weight and age. As such the Haematocrit normal range for men is between 40% to 54% of erythrocytes and for women the Haematocrit normal range is between 37% to 48%.  

When do you expect results?

24 to 36 Hours

Why Get Tested?

The Haematocrit test is generally ordered along with the complete blood count (CBC). The test helps in the assesment of:

  • Anemia (Condition in which erythrocytes are reduced in number or volume or are deficient in hemoglobin)
  • polycythemia ( A disease state in which the proportion of blood volume that is occupied by red blood cells increases)
  • Response to treatment of anemia or polycythemias
  • Dehydration
  • Blood transfusion decisions for severe symptomatic anemia’s
  • The effectiveness of those transfusions

Reason to take Hematocrit (HCT / CRIT) Test

Symptoms associated and observed are:

  • Feeling of tiredness or weakness (fatigue)
  • Lack of energy headache
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling of cold or numbness in hands and/or feet
  • Pale complexion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Excessive loss of water Brittle nails

Preparations Needed for Hematocrit (HCT / CRIT) Test

Preparatory instructions before the test *:

No Fasting Required.

No other special preparations required.

Sample Required?

Specimen type: EDTA (Blood Sample)

Specimen collection procedure: Venipuncture - Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm.

How can we help?

You no longer need to break a sweat to get your haematocrit test, by looking around for reliable pathological labs and then waiting to get tested, just give us a call and our representative phlebotomist would be there at your home at a time and day of your convenience to collect the required blood sample.

We would also home deliver your haematocrit test reports to you. Portea is the leading at home healthcare services provider with highly reliable and certified healthcare services ranging from doctor’s consultation, nursing services to therapies and lab tests. So you can trust us with providing you the best home haematocrit test, so you can spend your time with a loved one rather running from pillar to post.   

Understanding results of Hematocrit (HCT / CRIT)

Reference RangeInterpretation
35 - 45 %6 Years. 1 month - 12 Years
34 - 40 %2 Years - 6 Years
30 - 38 %6.5 months - 1 Yr. 11 months
30 - 40 %3 months - 6 months
28 - 42 %2 months - 2.5 months
31 - 71 %Day 14 - Day 29
33 - 53 %1 months - 1.5 months
42 - 66 %Day 7 - Day 13
45 - 67 %Day 3 - Day 6
36 - 46 %Adolescent Female
45 - 75 %Day 1 - Day 2
37 - 49 %Adolescent Male
40 to 54%Male
35 to 47%Female

‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

References

  1. https://labtestsonline.org/tests/hematocrit
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/labtests/hematocrittest.html
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/hematocrit/about/pac-20384728
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK259/