Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) measures the average size of red blood cells. This calculated measure is made by multiplying the volume of blood (hematocrit) by the relative percentage of cellular content and then dividing that number by the number of red blood cells in the sample.

MCV can be calculated using the following formula:

mean corpuscular volume formula mcv

MCV values are used in the diagnosis of many anemia-related conditions, particularly pernicious anemia (high MCV). It offers three primary tiers of classification:

Name MCV Level
Microcytic Anemia < 80 fL
Normocytic Anemia 80-100 fL
Macrocytic Anemia > 100 fL

Source: Maner, Britany S. Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV). StatPearls Publishing (2019).

Each of these ranges is used in helping determine a specific erythrocytic clinical diagnosis. Common anemic conditions associated with varying MCV levels include hepatic disease, infections (protozoal, bacterial, viral), HIV infection, alcoholism, and vitamin b12 deficiency (R).