MPV Blood Test – Mean Platelet Volume & Its Impact On Your Health

MPV Blood Test – Mean Platelet Volume & Its Impact On Your Health

Are you on a quest for optimal health and keen to understand the hidden markers in your blood that tell you plenty about your well-being? Learn about the MPV blood test, where specific cells responsible for blood clotting are measured, and your results can unlock profound insights into your body's inner workings. Let's embark on a journey to explore how the MPV blood test can be your ally in maintaining and optimizing your health.

Blog Author Elena Health Coach at CARE
Elena Iagovitina

Health Coach

Published in General Health
8 min read · Mar 16, 2024

Hero Image

Table of content

What Is An MPV Blood Test?

An MPV blood test evaluates the average size of your platelets, crucial blood cells that play a significant role in blood clotting. Often conducted as part of a complete blood count (CBC), the MPV test aids your healthcare provider in diagnosing various disorders and conditions by providing insight into your platelet size and function. [1]

But what does the abbreviation MPV stand for?

MPV stands for “mean platelet volume”:

  • Mean: The mathematical “average” of a group of numbers.
  • Platelet: The blood cells that help your blood form clots.
  • Volume: The amount of space a substance, in this case, platelets, occupies.
Blog detail image

Platelets, also known as thrombocytes, are small, colorless cell fragments produced in the bone marrow—the soft, spongy tissue inside your bones. The primary function of these cells is to assist in blood clotting by clumping together, which is vital for stopping bleeding in case of injuries, preventing blood loss, and for healing processes. [2]

For example, platelets gather at the wound site when an injury occurs, creating a cluster (clot) that helps slow down and eventually halt blood loss.

But when should you take an MPV blood test?

When Is an MPV Blood Test Taken?

An MPV blood test is most often included in a complete blood count (CBC), a common component of your annual physical examination.

The CBC evaluates the quantity of your red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, in addition to assessing significant characteristics of your blood cells, such as the size of your platelets (the MPV). [1]

You may receive an MPV blood test outside of routine blood work if you have unexplained symptoms associated with platelets, such as bruising, nosebleeds, or other issues that signal problems with how your blood clots.

When Should I Take an MPV Blood Test?

Symptoms that can indicate the need for an MPV blood test outside your regular health assessments are [1]:

  • Experiencing weakness or dizziness
  • Persistent headaches
  • Discomfort and burning sensations in hands and feet
  • Prolonged bleeding from minor cuts
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Gum bleeding while brushing your teeth
  • Appearance of small, red, or purple spots on your skin
  • Tendency to bruise and bleed easily
  • Unusually heavy or abnormal menstrual bleeding

What Can I Expect During an MPV Blood Test?

Blog detail image

Undergoing an MPV test is a quick and straightforward process, typically completed in under five minutes. This test can be administered in various settings, including one of our CARE practices, at your physician's facilities, a laboratory, or a hospital.

During the procedure, your healthcare provider will take the following steps [2]:

  1. Preparation: A tourniquet, a cloth or plastic strip, is tied snugly above the area on your arm. This is done to slow blood flow, making a vein more visible and accessible for needle insertion.
  2. Skin Sanitization: The skin over your vein is cleaned thoroughly to prevent infection.
  3. Needle Insertion: A small needle is gently inserted into your vein. While this might cause a minor sting or prick sensation, it is usually quick and not painful.
  4. Blood Collection: A blood sample is collected into a vial attached to the needle.
  5. Needle Removal and Aftercare: Once the blood sample is collected, the needle is removed. To minimize bleeding and begin healing, gentle pressure is applied to the puncture site using a cotton ball or bandage.
  6. Lab Analysis: The collected blood sample is now sent to a laboratory where a medical laboratory scientist analyzes the mean platelet volume in your blood, among other potential measurements, if part of a complete blood count (CBC). Your lab test MPV results will soon be ready.

What Are the Normal Ranges of Blood MPV Levels?

Blog detail image

A study from 2011 found an average blood MPV normal range to be between MPV 7.2 and 11.7 fL (femtoliters). [3]

The Cleveland Clinic states a normal MPV blood test is between 7 fL to 9 fL for non-pregnant adults. [2]

But what does it mean if your MPV levels are below that range or even higher?

MPV Test Results – Understanding Your Mean Platelet Volume

Your Mean Platelet Volume (MPV) results offer valuable insights into the size and function of platelets in your blood. By evaluating MPV levels, healthcare providers can better understand your body's platelet production and potential underlying disorders (bleeding disorders, etc.) affecting blood clotting and circulation. [1] [2]

What Does a Low MPV Mean?

A low MPV (mean platelet volume) indicates smaller-than-average platelets in your blood. Biologically, this may suggest a reduced production of platelets in your bone marrow or an increased destruction of platelets in your body. Such a deviation can be a marker for various underlying conditions or disorders influencing platelet production and lifespan. [1] [2]

Potential causes for a low MPV, small platelets, include:

  • Bone Marrow Suppression: Conditions like aplastic anemia or chemotherapy treatment can suppress the bone marrow, leading to smaller platelets.
  • Chronic Inflammatory Diseases: Diseases like rheumatoid arthritis can cause systemic inflammation, affecting platelet size and production.
  • Iron Deficiency Anemia: This common form of anemia can lead to smaller platelets, reflecting the body's overall struggle to produce sufficient blood components.
  • Genetic Thrombocytopenias: Certain genetic conditions result in the production of fewer and smaller platelets.

What Does a High MPV Mean?

A high MPV (mean platelet volume) signifies that your platelets are larger than average. Biologically, this often indicates a higher turnover rate of platelets, where the body is producing platelets rapidly in response to a need, such as to compensate for platelet loss or destruction. Larger platelets can be more reactive and are typically younger, reflecting an active response by the bone marrow to replenish the platelet count. [1] [2]

Potential causes for large-sized platelets include:

  • Recovery from Bone Marrow Suppression: Following an event of bone marrow suppression, such as after chemotherapy, the bone marrow might produce larger, younger platelets as it recovers.
  • Inflammatory Conditions: Conditions like inflammatory bowel disease or systemic lupus erythematosus can trigger an increase in platelet production, resulting in larger platelets.
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders: Diseases like essential thrombocythemia or polycythemia vera involve the overproduction of blood cells, including platelets, which can be larger in size due to the disease.
  • Iron Deficiency: While iron deficiency can lead to smaller platelets, it can also cause a compensatory increase in platelet size as the body attempts to manage the deficiency. [4]
  • Living in High Altitudes: Do you live on a high mountain? Chronic exposure to high-altitude hypoxia has been associated with increased MPV and a reduced PC. [5]
  • Cardiovascular Risk Predictor: A high MPV is linked to heart diseases, specifically an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), higher chances of death after a heart attack, and the narrowing of arteries after coronary angioplasty (procedure to open arteries). This information indicates that MPV could be a helpful indicator for predicting health outcomes in people with heart disease. [6]
  • Disease: ​​A high platelet count combined with a high MPV may result from the bone marrow producing platelets excessively, often due to a genetic mutation or cancer. On the other hand, having a normal platelet count but a high MPV can indicate other conditions, like hyperthyroidism or chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), which is a form of cancer. [7]

What Can I Do to Get My MPV Levels Within a Normal Range?

You need to address the underlying cause affecting your platelet volume to bring your MPV levels within a normal range. This may involve interventions that optimize bone marrow health, regulate the body's inflammatory response, or correct nutritional deficiencies impacting platelet production and size.

CARE has curated some general strategies that can help you support platelet production and bone marrow health:

  • Follow a Balanced Diet: Ensure you're getting enough nutrients, especially those crucial for blood health, like iron, vitamin B12, and folate, to support healthy platelet production.
  • Manage Underlying Conditions: Work closely with your healthcare provider to treat any conditions influencing your MPV levels, such as inflammatory diseases or myeloproliferative disorders.
  • Avoid Toxins: Limit exposure to toxins and substances that can suppress bone marrow or affect platelet function, including drinking excessive alcohol, under the guidance of your healthcare provider.

What Factors Can Affect My Test Results?

Blog detail image

Several factors can influence your blood test results, including MPV levels [2]:

  • Medications: Drugs like anticoagulants and chemotherapy can alter platelet count and size.
  • Diet and Nutrition: Iron, vitamin B12, and folate deficiency can influence platelet production and MPV.
  • Alcohol Consumption: Heavy drinking can suppress the bone marrow, impacting platelet levels.
  • Physical Activity: Intense and regular strenuous exercise can temporarily change platelet count and volume.
  • Time of Day: Platelet levels can vary due to circadian rhythms.
  • Age and Sex: Normal MPV values differ across ages and between sexes.
  • Pregnancy: This condition can lead to changes in platelet production and MPV.
  • Menstruation: Menstruation can temporarily lower MPV levels due to the loss of blood and the body's subsequent adjustment in platelet production and size.
  • Dehydration: It can concentrate blood, affecting platelet count and possibly MPV.
  • Stress: Both physical and emotional stress can transiently alter platelet levels.

How CARE Helps You Unlock Your Health Potential

Regular health check-ups at CARE and the knowledge of various blood biomarkers are invaluable for your proactive health management.

Insights into your present health status allow for early detection of potential health issues, enabling you to intervene timely and discuss personalized strategies to optimize your health and fitness with our healthcare providers.

Understanding the nuances of your blood's biomarkers can guide lifestyle and treatment decisions, optimizing your wellness and vitality. For anyone prioritizing their health, being a member of CARE offers access to cutting-edge health monitoring tools and personalized support and consultation, empowering you to stay ahead in your health journey with confidence and informed precision.

List of References

Blog Author Elena Health Coach at CARE

Elena Iagovitina

Health Coach at CARE Zurich

About the author

Elena is an enthusiastic Health Coach and blog writer at CARE, with a passion for holistic medicine and health. Previously, Elena worked for almost five years as a coach leading retreats, workshops, and seminars. These included mind-body therapy: breath work, meditation, and massage; as well as energy force therapy: reiki, and qi gong; and third expressive therapy: movement, writing and support groups. Elena shares exciting articles on the blog, on the topic of where the alternative and traditional medicine intersect with Western Medicine. Elena is also the driving force behind the CARE community. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, traveling to remote locations and dancing. You might also see her on the lake of Zurich as a coast guard. Join her on her journey to learn more about health and discover the world of preventive medicine! Visit all articles written by Elena!