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CBC Test: What Is CBC and How to Prepare For It?



What is The CBC Test?

The CBC test, also known as the complete blood count test, is a blood test that measures the levels of different cells in your blood. This includes red blood cells, white blood cells, haemoglobin, and platelets. The test helps diagnose various conditions, such as anaemia, blood infections, and leukaemia. It can also help to monitor the health of people with chronic medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, or AIDS.

If you are scheduled for a CBC test, there is no need to worry. The process is simple and only takes a few minutes. A healthcare professional will collect a small sample of your blood with a syringe. The sample will then be sent to a lab for analysis. The results of the CBC test will usually be available within a few days.

What is The Purpose of The CBC Test?

The CBC test helps to evaluate your general health and detect a wide range of disorders. It is typically ordered during routine physical examinations or when you have symptoms of a condition that could affect your blood cells. For example, your doctor may order a CBC if you have signs of infection, such as fever, fatigue, or shortness of breath. It is also done to monitor your health if you're taking any medications that could affect your blood cells.

How to Prepare For The CBC Test?

If you are scheduled for a CBC, special preparations are not necessary. However, if the blood will be used for other tests as well, you may need to fast for 12 hours prior to the test. In this case, you can only drink water during this time. You should also avoid any strenuous activity before the test. To make this easier, the test can be done in the morning, right after you wake up. However, your doctor will advise you if fasting is required before your test.

When scheduling a CBC test, it is important to tell your doctor if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Have ever had bleeding problems
  • Take any medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements

This type of blood test is usually done during routine health checkups. The entire process is rather quick and inexpensive. You can either go to a laboratory near you or have healthcare professionals come to the location of your convenience to draw blood.

You may also need to stop taking certain medications before the test. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for the CBC test based on your individual situation.

What are The Normal Values For The CBC Test?

The normal values for the CBC test vary depending on the age and sex of the person being tested. In general, men have higher levels of red blood cells than women, and children have higher levels of white blood cells than adults.

The list below shows the normal values for the CBC test among males and females. However, please note that the values could vary, and it is important to consult a doctor before making any assumptions.


Males: 13.2 - 16.2 gm/dL | Females: 12.0 - 15.2 gm/dL

Red Blood Cell Count (RBC)

Males: 4.3 - 6.2 million/μL | Females: 3.8 - 5.5 million/μL | Infant/Child: 3.8 - 5.5 million/μL

White Blood Cell Count (WBC) - Differential Leucocyte Count

  • Neutrophils - 35-80%
  • Lymphocytes - 20-50%
  • Monocytes - 2-12%
  • Eosinophils - 0-7%
  • Basophils - 0-2%

Platelet count (Plt) - 1.5-4.5 lac/L

Hematocrit (Hct)

Males: 40-52% | Females: 37-46% | Child: 31-43%

Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW) - 35-47 fL

Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV)

Males: 82-102 fL | Females: 78-101 fL

Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH) - 27-34 pg

Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) - 31-35 gm/dL

Mean Platelet Volume (MPV) - 6.0-9.5 fL

What Do Abnormal Results Mean?

If your test results come back abnormal, it could indicate an infection, anaemia, or another underlying health condition. Your doctor will likely order additional tests to determine the cause of your abnormal CBC results.

Here are a few parameters that may help you understand your results:

  • Haemoglobin: A decreased level of haemoglobin can be a sign of anaemia, while an increased level of haemoglobin can be a sign of polycythemia.
  • WBC: Reduced levels of WBC can be an indication of conditions like aplastic anaemia, leukaemia, and autoimmune disorders. Increased levels of WBC may indicate leukaemia or inflammatory disorders.
  • Platelet: Decreased levels of platelets are typically an indication of common diseases like dengue and malaria. Increased levels of platelets are indicative of chronic infections.


A CBC test is an important diagnostic tool that can provide valuable information about your health. It is essential to conduct a CBC test at least once a year as part of your routine health checkup, even if you feel fit and healthy. If your CBC test comes back normal, it means that you are generally a healthy person.For accurate results, it is imperative to get the blood test done from a reputed diagnostic laboratory like Metropolis Healthcare. We have branches across India and can be trusted for all your diagnostic needs. Moreover, our healthcare professionals are experienced, knowledgeable, and efficient. Contact us today for a CBC test at your convenience.

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