Meaning of MCV and red blood cell distribution width?

My last 3 blood tests (6-mercaptopurine monitoring) have shown a slow but steady increase in mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and red blood cell distribution width. They are highlighted as "high". I'm not seeing the rheumatologist for another 2 months and wonder if this is lupus-related or anything to worry about? Do any of you know? I also have autoimmune hepatitis and Sjogren's syndrome.

4 Replies

Anaemia or vit B12 deficiency - you should contact your lupus nurse and let them know, they might start you on treatment. Hasn't your GP suggested anything?


Thank you P, really useful. I don't have a lupus nurse, haven't ever heard of one! And my GP leaves things to the rheumatologist. The levels aren't massively high, just into the high zone. They are all more worried about my AIH and monitoring that, so potential lupus problems tend not to get noticed by the GP, which is why I asked this question via this brilliant site. I knew I'd get a useful answer. I'll keep an eye on things and pursue if the next test is worse. Thank you so much.


Hi bitternwatcher, you asked me recently to let you know if I am diagnosed with, AIH. So far no news, waiting to see Dr. Re... Your MCV results, I only found out recently that, amongst other things, iron is stored in the liver. As I am under investigation and just 2 months ago finnished another 6 week iron transfusion, obviously I am wondering if there is a link to AIH. My liver scan tues, has not concluded my continual high liver blood tests. Hopefully gastro will sort it out. Just thought I'd share this thought.


Good luck with your diagnosis. My scan didn't reveal anything either, it was the blood test results and liver biopsy than enabled them to make a definitive diagnosis. As I said before I think, if you do have AIH it responds well to treatment, my AST/ALT readings were in the thousands and I was very ill, but they managed to get them back to normal! It's difficult unravelling which symptoms come from what, because I have 3 autoimmune disorders (and counting...) so it's really useful to get feedback from this group as it helps me work out which symptoms to alert which consultant to. A lot of them seem to overlap, anywayand the drugs then cause side effects, which can be mistaken as symptoms... Diagnosis is not a fine art, it seems.

I'm wishing you all the best with yours.


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