Red Cell Count

Overview:

Red Cell Count or, RBC count, is a blood test that measures how many red blood cells (RBCs) you have. RBCs contain haemoglobin, which carries oxygen around the body. How much oxygen your body tissues get depends on how many RBCs you have and how well they work.

How the test is performed

A blood sample is needed.

Why the test is performed

The RBC count is almost always part of the CBC (complete blood count) test. The test can help diagnose different kinds of anaemia (low number of RBCs) and other conditions affecting red blood cells.

Additional conditions under which an RBC count may be performed:

  • Disease that damages kidney blood vessels (Alport syndrome)
  • White blood cell cancer (Macroglobulinaemia of Waldenstrom)
  • Disorder in which red blood cells break down earlier than normal (paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria)
  • Bone marrow disorder in which the marrow is replaced by scar tissue (myelofibrosis)