The complete blood count is routinely done as part of a complete medical exam. A major portion of the CBC measures red blood cell count, white blood cell count and platelets.
The purpose of the CBC is to determine general health status and to screen for a variety of disorders. This blood test may also be used to monitor treatment for existing conditions.
White Blood Cell Count
The number of white blood cells in a volume of blood is measured in the white blood cell count. Normal range varies slightly between laboratories, but is usually between 4,500 and 10,000 cells per cubic millimeter.
Red Blood Cell Count
The number of red blood cells in a volume of blood is the red blood cell count. A normal level is usually between 4.2 million and 6.1 million cells/mcL.
Platelets are fragments of cytoplasm found in bone marrow. A normal range is usually 150,000 to 400,000/cmm.
The CBC takes several other measurements, including hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration and red cell distribution width. Abnormal results can indicate a wide variety of possible problems or conditions. Talk to your doctor about what your results mean.