Red Blood Cell (RBC) / Erythrocyte count

Clinical definition of the RBC count test
Red blood cells are the most numerous cells in the blood and give blood its characteristic color. They are responsible for normal oxygen transport from the lungs to the rest of the body. RBCs are incapable of dividing or repairing themselves and therefore continually produced and removed. They are made in the bone marrow. RBC test counts the number of red blood cells (RBC) in a sample of whole blood. Levels of RBC out of normal range are an indication of certain conditions such as anemia and polycythemia.

Why is the RBC count test done?
The RBC count test is carried out to evaluate any change in the number of red blood cells in the blood, to diagnose anemia and other conditions affecting red blood cells.

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

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of Breath
  • General malaise
  • Chest pain
  • Brittle nails
  • Nails, pale skin and gums
  • Cold feet and hands

What should I do before the Rbc count test?

Specimen type

Specimen collection procedure

Preparatory instructions before the test *

EDTA(Blood Sample)


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 Rbc count test results?

Reference Range*



3.8 to 4.8 mill/


4.5 to 5.5 mill/

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

Diseases/conditions related to the RBC count test

  • Alport syndrome
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Thalassemia
  • Macroglobulinemia of Waldenstrom
  • Primary myelofibrosis
  • Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH)
  • Hemolysis (RBC destruction)
  • Hemorrhage
  • Leukemia
  • Polycethemia
  • Anemia
  • Cor pulmonale
  • Dehydration
  • Obstructive lung disease

Other tests related to the Rbc count test

  • Complete blood count
  • Blood smear

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CBC (Complete Blood Count)