In a blood test, the acronym MPV refers to the average platelet volume of the platelets present in the blood. What are the normal values ? What are the causes of an increase or a decrease?
The human being has between 150,000 and 400,000 platelets per cubic millimeters. Platelets are not produced with the same volume, it varies over time, a platelet lives 10 days in the blood. “The analyzer will calculate the average volume of thousands of platelets circulating by passing them through a beam. You should know that in the bone marrow, when the platelets divide, it is a huge cell that bursts into thousands of small ones. The goal is to analyze these small cells and determine by counting and analysis the VPM”explains Dr. François Blanchecotte, President of the Union of Biologists.
“What interests us, it is the liquid in which bathe the red blood cells and the white blood cells. This liquid, called plasma, has all the elements suspended in it (sugar, potassium, iodine, all the proteins that we dose, etc.). When it circulates normally it does not coagulate, it will only clot when left without anticoagulant, then it turns into serum“, underlines the specialist. We use the two modes according to the elements that we have to dose according to the technical and international standards. It is for this reason that when we do a blood testthe authorized healthcare professional takes several tubes of different colors that correspond to the anticoagulant products that may or may not be in the tube.
High VPM may be associated with cardiac or thrombosis risk
Values considered normal in a blood test are located between 7 and 11 fl (femtolitre). Platelets with a larger volume would be more active. “You should know that we do not always return the VPM on the reports because it would complicate the lives of patients and doctors. We keep it internally for the moment and if we have an anomaly that is out of the norm, we will look at the number of platelets and the clinical signs. Platelets are used for an essential element, it is coagulation. If you don’t have enough, you risk hemorrhaging. And if we have too much too. Curiously, that’s how it is.“says the specialist.
If you don’t have enough platelets, less than 5,000 per mm/3and you are undergoing treatment such as chemotherapy or other chemicals, it will inhibit the production of platelets in the bone marrow and we will go down to very low platelet levels. When you have large platelets, it can reflect certain diseases. “In front of any bleeding, it is necessary to be interested in the number of platelets and therefore in the VPM“explains the biologist.
A patient with a low platelet count may have a stronger MPV, there are causes that increase platelets (myelodysplastic syndromes or leukemias) or decrease them (aplastic anemia). A high VPM can be associated with risk of heart disease or thrombosis.
Thanks to Dr François Blanchecotte, President of the Syndicat des biologists.
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