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MPV Blood Test

What is an MPV Blood Test?

MPV stands for mean platelet volume. Platelets are small blood cells that are essential for blood clotting, the process that helps you stop bleeding after an injury. An MPV blood test measures the average size of your platelets. The test can help diagnose bleeding disorders and diseases of the bone marrow.

Other names: Mean Platelet Volume

What is it used for?

An MPV blood test is used to help diagnose or monitor a variety of blood-related conditions. A test called a platelet count is often included with an MVP test. A platelet count measures the total number of platelets you have.

Why do I need an MPV blood test?

Your health care provider may have ordered an MPV blood test as part of a complete blood count (CBC), which measures many different components of your blood, including platelets. A CBC test is often part of a routine exam. You may also need an MPV test if you have symptoms of a blood disorder. These include:

  • Prolonged bleeding after a minor cut or injury
  • Nosebleeds
  • Small red spots on the skin
  • Purplish spots on the skin
  • Unexplained bruising

What happens during an MPV blood test?

During the test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don't need any special preparations for an MPV blood test. If your health care provider has ordered more tests on your blood sample, you may need to fast (not eat or drink) for several hours before the test. Your health care provider will let you know if there are any special instructions to follow.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

What do the results mean?

MPV results, along with platelet counts and other tests, can provide a more complete picture of the health of your blood. Depending on your platelet count and other blood measurements, an increased MPV result can indicate:

  • Thrombocytopenia, a condition in which your blood has a lower than normal number of platelets
  • Myeloproliferative disease, a type of blood cancer
  • Preeclampsia, a complication in pregnancy that causes high blood pressure. It usually starts after the 20th week of pregnancy.
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes

A low MPV can indicate exposure to certain drugs that are harmful to cells. It may also indicate marrow hypoplasia, a disorder that causes a decrease in blood cell production. To learn what your results mean, talk to your health care provider.

Is there anything else I need to know about an MPV blood test?

There are many factors that can affect the results of your MPV blood test. Living in high altitudes, strenuous physical activity, and certain drugs, such as birth control pills, may cause an increase in platelet levels. Decreased platelet levels may be caused by a women's menstrual cycle or pregnancy. In rare cases, platelets can be affected by a genetic defect.

References

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  3. F.E.A.S.T's Eating Disorders Glossary [Internet]. Milwaukee: Families Empowered And Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders; Bone Marrow Hypoplasia; [cited 2017 Mar 15]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: http://glossary.feast-ed.org/3-treatment-medical-management/bone-marrow-hypoplasia
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  9. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy; [cited 2017 Mar 15]; [about 4 screens]. Available from: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/resources/heart/hbp-pregnancy
  10. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; What Are the Risks of Blood Tests?; [updated 2012 Jan 6; cited 2017 Mar 15]; [about 5 screens].Available from: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/bdt/risks
  11. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; What is Thrombocytopenia?; [updated 2012 Sep 25; cited 2017 Mar 15]; [about 2 screens].Available from: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/thcp
  12. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; What To Expect with Blood Tests; [updated 2012 Jan 6; cited 2017 Mar 15]; [about 4 screens]. Available from: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/bdt/with
  13. Slavka G, Perkmann T, Haslacher H, Greisenegger S, Marsik C, Wagner OF, Endler G. Mean Platelet Volume May Represent a Predictive Parameter for Overall Vascular Mortality and Ischemic Heart Disease. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. [Internet]. 2011 Feb 17 [cited 2017 Mar 15]; 31(5):1215–8. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21330610
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