Interpretation of Results
The normal RBC count generally varies with age and gender. In children, the normal RBC count is 4.6 up to 4.8 million/uL. For women the normal is 4.2 up to 5.4 million/uL and for the men, it is 4.7 up to 6.1 million/uL. Variation in the number of RBC can indicate certain medical conditions.
An RBC count below normal may indicate conditions like chronic inflammation, trauma or injury, metabolic disorders, burns, pregnancy, vitamin B12 deficiency, hemorrhagic infection, damage in the bone marrow, hemolytic anemia, iron deficiency anemia, vascular bleeding and bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. The decrease in its number may also be a result of either a rapid or acute blood loss, or due to undiagnosed chronic or long term loss of blood.
On the other hand, an increase in the number of RBC in the blood may appear in certain medical conditions like renal problems, congenital heart disease, polycythemia vera, pulmonary diseases, over-transfusion of blood, dehydration and hypoxia.
Certain drugs can also alter the number of RBC and these include chemotherapy drugs, qiunidine and chloramphenicol.
Doctors may also request for other specific tests, such as blood chemistry, antibody testing, and urinalysis, together with the CBC and RBC count, depending on his differential diagnosis and the state of health of the patient.