Complete Blood Count (CBC)
Siamak T. Nabili, MD, MPH
Dr. Nabili received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. He then completed his graduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His graduate training included a specialized fellowship in public health where his research focused on environmental health and health-care delivery and management.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- What is the complete blood count test (CBC)?
- How is the complete blood count test (CBC) done?
- What are the components of the complete blood count (CBC)?
- What are values for a complete blood count (CBC)?
- What are the functions of the cells in a complete blood count (CBC)?
- What is the complete blood count (CBC) used for?
- Patient Comments: Complete Blood Count - Diagnosis
What is the complete blood count test (CBC)?
The complete blood count (CBC) is one of the most commonly ordered blood tests. The complete blood count is the calculation of the cellular (formed elements) of blood. These calculations are generally determined by special machines that analyze the different components of blood in less than a minute.
A major portion of the complete blood count is the measure of the concentration of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets in the blood.
How is the complete blood count test (CBC) done?
The complete blood count (CBC) test is performed by obtaining a few milliliters (one to two teaspoons) of blood sample directly form the patient. It can be done in many settings including the doctor's office, laboratories, and hospitals. The skin is wiped clean with an alcohol pad, and a needle is inserted through the area of cleansed skin into to patient's vein (one that can be visualized from the skin.) The blood is pulled from the needle by a syringe or by a connection to a special vacuumed vial where it is collected. This sample is taken to the laboratory for analysis.
What are the components of the complete blood count (CBC)?
The complete blood count, or CBC, lists a number of many important values. Typically, it includes the following:
- White blood cell count (WBC or leukocyte count)
- WBC differential count
- Red blood cell count (RBC or erythrocyte count)
- Hematocrit (Hct)
- Hemoglobin (Hbg)
- Mean corpuscular volume (MCV)
- Mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH)
- Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC)
- Red cell distribution width (RDW)
- Platelet count
- Mean Platelet Volume (MPV)
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