Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Full Blood Count...what result should I be looking for?

I have just requested a copy of my latest blood tests as I am very B12 and iron looks like a FBC was done....results say "normal" ? My results read... White cell count 5.6 10*9/L ( 4.0 - 11.0 )

Haemoglobin estimation 129g/L (120 - 175)

Red Blood Cell 4.08 10*12/L (3.80 - 5.80 )

Can anyone translate this? Is this an ok result?

Thank you

6 Replies

Do you have other results for the FBC (Full Blood Count)? I look at MCV and MCH as high MCV and high MCH can indicate the possibility of macrocytosis (enlarged red blood cells).

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"as I am very B12 and iron deficient."

If you are both iron and B12 deficient then your MCV and MCH could well appear to be "normal" . Low iron can lead to smaller red blood cells (microcytosis). Low B12 and/or low folate can lead to enlarged red blood cells (macrocytosis).

A patient with both conditions may appear to have "normal" size red blood cells as the effect of the iron deficiency can mask the effect of the B12 deficiency.

A blood smear also known as blood film can be helpful as this may show up both microcytic and macrocytic red blood cells in someone with iron deficiency and B12 and/or folate deficiency. A blood film can also show if neutrophil cells are hypersegmented which is also sometimes found in people with B12 deficiency.

Have you had a recent folate test?

Important info in Management section.

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Yes my Serum Folate results reads....8.2ug/L is this low or cause for concern? Should I be taking folic acid? What should it be reading?

Thank you.


Its not deficient but it is low in the range and could be a problemif you are trying to address a deficiency.

Best source of folate is food so first thing to do would be to look at your diet and see if there is anything you can do to up your intake and see if that helps.


MCV is 92 fl

MCHC is 343 g/L

MCH is 31.6 pg

Is this ok??


Do you have the reference ranges for Folate MCV, MCH and MCHC?

The reference ranges should be on the copies of your results, if for some reason they are not, you might find the reference ranges if you search on your local NHS website.

In my area, folate is considered normal if it is over 4. I suspect some people need higher levels than this for folate/iron/b12 metabolism to be at its best.

The fact you are iron deficient could have a lowering effect on the MCV and MCH. Your MCH results is close to the upper range limit in my area 32pg. My experience is that GPs/Consultants pay more attention to MCV levels.

There's some info in the BCSH Cobalamin and Folate guidelines about MCV and MCH levels. I'd highly recommend reading it .


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