Hematocrit (HCT / CRIT)

Clinical definition of the Hematocrit test
The Hematocrit (Ht or HCT) or packed cell volume is the proportion of blood volume that is occupied by red blood cells. It is an integral part of person’s complete blood count, along with hemoglobin concentration, white blood cell count, and platelet count. Hematocrit is determined by centrifuging heparinized blood in a capillary tube. Hematocrit rises when the number of red blood cells increase or when the plasma volume is reduced, as in dehydration. Hematocrit levels fall when the body decreases its production of red blood cells or when excess blood is lost due to bleeding indicating anemia. Hematocrit test measures how much space in the blood is occupied by red blood cells. This test is useful in evaluating a person with anemia.

Why is the Hematocrit test done?
Hematocrit test is done as a part of the complete blood count (CBC). This test is used to evaluate:

  • 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

What are the common signs/symptoms when the Hematocrit test is done?

  • 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

What should I do before the Hematocrit test?

Specimen type

Specimen collection procedure

Preparatory instructions before the test *

EDTA (Blood Sample)

Venipuncture -- Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm.

No Fasting Required.

No other special preparations required.

*Subjects suffering from any illness or on oral or injectable medications are advised to consult their physician prior to requesting any tests or procedures.

How do I interpret my Hematocrit test results?

Gender

Reference Range*

Female

35 to 47%

Male

40 to 54%

Adolescent Male

37 - 49 %

Adolescent Female

36 - 46 %

Children

Day 1 - Day 2

45 - 75 %

Day 3 - Day 6

45 - 67 %

Day 7 - Day 13

42 - 66 %

Day 14 - Day 29

31 - 71 %

2 months - 2.5 months    

28 - 42 %

3 months - 6 months   

30 - 40 %

6.5 months - 1 Yr. 11 months   

30 - 38 %

2 Years - 6 Years 

34 - 40 %

6 Years. 1 month - 12 Years 

35 - 45 %

1 months - 1.5 months

33 - 53 %

‘*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’

Diseases/conditions related to the Hematocrit test

  • Dengue Fever
  • Dengue Shock Syndrome
  • Polycythemia Vera (PV)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Anemia
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Polycythemia
  • Kidney Failure
  • Leukemia
  • Diarrhea

Other tests related to the Hematocrit test

  • Complete blood count

Synonyms : Erythrocyte Volume Fraction (EVF), Packed cell volume (PCV)
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Hematocrit (PCV)

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