Mean Platelet Volume (MPV)

Your blood contains several different types of cells, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Doctors order blood tests because they want to examine these cells for signs of health problems.

Testing your MPV is an easy process. It’s typically done as part of your annual checkup with your primary care physician.

A phlebotomist (a person specially trained in drawing blood) will wrap a tourniquet around your arm to make your veins engorge. Then they’ll insert a thin needle into your vein and draw your blood into test tubes. The pain should be minimal, but you may have some bruising and tenderness for a few days.

Mean platelet volume (MPV) is a machine-calculated measurement of the average size of platelets found in blood and is typically included in blood tests as part of the CBC. Since the average platelet size is larger when the body is producing increased numbers of platelets, the MPV test results can be used to make inferences about platelet production in bone marrow or platelet destruction problems.

MPV may be higher when there is destruction of platelets. This may be seen in immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), myeloproliferative diseases and Bernard–Soulier syndrome. It may also be related to pre-eclampsia and recovery from transient hypoplasia.

Abnormally low MPV values may correlate with thrombocytopenia when it is due to impaired production of megakaryocytes in the bone marrow, such as in aplastic anemia. A low MPV may indicate inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. A high MPV is also a bad prognostic marker in patients with sepsis or septic shock. In addition, low MPV may correlate with abnormally small platelet size, sometimes a symptom of a spectrum referred to as Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome (WAS), caused by a genetic mutation of the WAS gene.

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