Low levels and what they mean


"MPV" stands for mean platelet volume and is a measure of the size of your platelets. Platelets or platelets are fragments of blood cells. They help blood to clot and repair damaged blood vessel walls to stop or prevent bleeding. MPV is often tested as part of a platelet count, which measures the number of platelets in a blood sample, or as part of a complete blood count ( CBC ).

This article will discuss low MPV results and their implications.

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What is MPV?

Average platelet volume is a measure of the size of platelets in the blood. Platelet size is indicated in femtoliters and normal MPV is 8-12 femtoliters. MPV is also an indicator of platelet activity.

Obtaining MPV can be useful to study the causes of platelet abnormalities, such as thrombocytopenia or low platelet count or thrombocytosis , that is, an increase in the platelet count.

Low MPV test results

To check MPV, a blood sample is taken from a vein, most often in the arm or arm. The blood is collected in a test tube and then analyzed in a specialized machine.

A report showing that the MPV is less than 8 femtoliters means that the platelets are small. Small platelets are usually old platelets because new platelets that enter the bloodstream are usually larger.

Low MPV and platelet count

When evaluating MPV, it is important to know that the MPV level alone is not a diagnostic indicator of anything specific. Rather, the indication should be viewed in the context of total platelet count versus platelet size.

MPV may decrease despite the number of platelets found.

Low MPV and low platelet count

When there is thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) with low MPV, it may indicate that the low platelet count is due to abnormal bone marrow function. Abnormally functioning bone marrow can be found in conditions such as aplastic anemia, when the bone marrow stops making enough blood cells.

Low MPV and high platelet count

A higher than usual platelet count (thrombocytosis) can be due to many factors. However, when thrombocytosis occurs with low levels of MPV, it is likely due to a reaction to something else, such as inflammation, infection, or cancer.

Low MPV and normal platelet count

Platelet size can be small, resulting in low MPV, even if the platelet count is normal. This is common in people with kidney disease. It can also be seen as a side effect of certain medications.

Causes of low MPV

Various conditions can cause low MPV. These conditions include:

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When considering blood tests, MPV is just one of many blood tests that are done. By itself, MPV does not diagnose any particular disease or disorder, but it is considered in conjunction with other blood tests to make a diagnosis. If you have any questions about any of your blood tests, you should consult with your healthcare professional for answers and clarification.

Frequently asked questions

  • MPV is a measure of the size of platelets in the blood. Platelets play an important role in preventing bleeding and healing the walls of blood vessels. When the MPV is low, the platelet size is smaller than average.

  • Low MPV levels can occur for a number of reasons. Some of these causes are bone marrow dysfunction, cancer, inflammatory conditions, autoimmune diseases, infections, and an enlarged spleen.

  • A high MPV means that the platelets are larger than average. When combined with other blood tests, a high MPV can indicate a medical condition such as:

    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
    • Myeloproliferative disease (a type of blood cancer).
    • Preeclampsia (a pregnancy complication that causes high blood pressure)

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