An MPV blood test measures the average size of your platelets, the blood cells that help your blood clot. When considered alongside other test results on a complete blood count (CBC), an MPV test can help your healthcare provider diagnose blood disorders and other conditions.
An MPV blood test measures the average size of your platelets. Platelets (thrombocytes) are blood cells made in the spongy tissue inside of your bone called bone marrow. They help your blood clot. If you’re injured, platelets clump together at the site of the wound. They slow and then stop the blood flow, so you don’t lose too much blood.
MPV stands for mean platelet volume:
An MPV test calculates the average platelet size in a blood sample to get a clearer picture of the health of these blood cells. Abnormal results may signal a blood disorder or condition that affects your bone marrow.
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You may receive an MPV blood test as part of a complete blood count (CBC). A CBC is a routine blood test your provider may order as part of an annual physical exam. A CBC measures how many red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets you have. It also measures other important features of your blood cells, like their size.
A platelet count, platelet distribution width (PDW) and an MPV blood test are parts of a CBC that provide helpful information about your platelets. A platelet count measures how many platelets you have in your blood. PDW measures how varied the widths of your platelets are. Together, these platelet tests can help your provider investigate multiple conditions, including:
You may receive an MPV blood test outside of routine blood work if you have unexplained bleeding, bruising or other symptoms that may signal problems with how your blood clots.
A doctor, nurse or phlebotomist will draw a blood sample that they’ll send to a lab for testing. A phlebotomist is a healthcare provider specially trained to draw blood for testing or transfusions.
A lab technician will run tests on the blood and compile results for your healthcare provider.
Typically, you won’t need to do anything special to prepare for an MPV blood test. An MPV blood test often happens alongside other tests performed on the same blood sample. If this is the case, you may need to fast (no food or drink) for a certain amount of time before your blood draw. For instance, tests that check your blood sugar or cholesterol levels typically require fasting.
Follow your provider’s instructions about fasting before the test. Get clarity on what food and drink aren’t acceptable past a certain cutoff period. Ask if you should stop taking any medications before your blood test.
An MPV test involves a simple blood draw that often takes less than five minutes. You may get the test in a healthcare provider’s office, lab or hospital.
Your provider will:
Afterward, they’ll send the sample to a lab for testing.
An MPV blood test doesn’t pose serious risks. You may have some soreness or slight bruising at the blood draw site, but these symptoms usually go away within a few days.
The results of an MPV blood test don’t provide enough information for a diagnosis. Still, your provider can consider these results alongside other blood tests, like your platelet count, to get closer to a diagnosis.
MPV blood test results may be normal or abnormal (low or high). Different labs have different cutoff points for normal, low or high results. Generally, a normal MPV blood test is 7 fL to 9 fL (femtoliters) for non-pregnant adults.
A high test result means that your platelets are larger than what’s considered normal. Newly made platelets are larger than older platelets, so a high number may signal that your bone marrow’s making a lot of new platelets. Platelet production may increase if your older (smaller) platelets are being destroyed at an increased rate.
Conditions associated with high MPV results include:
Low results mean that your platelets are smaller than what’s considered normal. Low MPV may mean your bone marrow isn’t producing enough new platelets.
Conditions associated with low MPV results include:
Low results may indicate that drugs are limiting your bone marrow’s ability to make new platelets. For example, some chemotherapy drugs may have this effect.
Still, a low or high result doesn’t mean you have a disease or disorder. The results provide information that your provider can consider when deciding the next steps for arriving at a diagnosis.
Sometimes, results are artificially high or low because of a factor unrelated to a medical condition. Any of the following can affect your MPV:
Speak with your provider if you’re curious if these factors or others may have caused your results to be high or low.
Some studies have demonstrated that MPV is higher in people with COVID-19 compared to people without COVID-19. Still, these findings are new. More research is needed to understand the connection between MPV blood test results and COVID-19 infection or disease severity.
Yes. Studies have shown that physical and mental stress on your body can affect platelet size. Long-term vigorous exercise can lead to high MPV. People with panic disorders may have higher-than-normal MPV.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Don’t be alarmed if you receive a low or high result on the MPV (mean platelet volume) portion of a blood test. MPV is just one factor that your healthcare provider can use to determine the health of your blood cells. Follow their guidance about what follow-up testing or procedures you may need based on your results.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/19/2022.
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