What is the complete blood count (CBC) test used for?

The complete blood count (CBC) is one of the most common tests that are often ordered in laboratories among blood tests. It is the count of the formed elements present in the blood.

This test is performed using a specialized machine that takes a few minutes to analyze and calculate the different components in the blood. Majorly, the blood count is the calculation of the number of platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells. It is also named full blood count or blood cell count.

Most people do not know about the CBC blood test that doctors ask them to get done in case of health issues. Read this blog to know more about the complete blood count test.

What is a Complete Blood Count?

A CBC test is generally initiated to effectively measure the amount and features of different formed elements present in the blood that includes:

  • Red Blood cells- RBCs are the corpuscles that carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
  • White Blood cells- WBCs are the corpuscles that make up most of the immune system. They fight the disease-causing microorganisms and prevent the body from infection. A CBC test determines the number of WBCs present in our blood.
  • Platelets- Platelets are the cells that help in stopping the blood flow in case of injury by forming a blood clot.
  • Haemoglobin- Hemoglobins are the protein found in red blood cells. It takes oxygen from the lungs to the other parts of the body.
  • Hematocrit- Hematocrit is the measurement of the number of red blood cells present in the blood.
  • Mean Corpuscular Volume(MCV)- MCV is the measurement of the average size of the red blood corpuscles.
  • Total leukocyte count (TLC) or absolute leukocyte count (ALC)– TLC is the measurement of the number of white blood cells in the blood.
  • Mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH)- MCH determines the volume of hemoglobin present in the red blood cells.
  • Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC)- MCHC determines the concentration of hemoglobin in a specific amount of blood.
  • Red cell distribution width (RDW)- RDW determines the size of the red blood corpuscles.
  • Mean platelet volume (MPV) – MPV determines the average size of the blood platelets.

Cost of CBC test

On average the cost of a CBC test varies somewhere between Rs. 300 to 500. However, the cost also depends on the below-mentioned factors:

  • Number of components required to be determined
  • City (Cost is more in metro cities)
  • Type of diagnostic lab
  • Home collection or on-spot test

Use of complete blood count test

A CBC test is a common blood test which is initiated in case of detection of certain health issues or can be a part of a regular checkup. This test can be proven helpful to detect various blood disorders. The doctor can ask you to get this test done for multiple reasons such as:

  • To evaluate the patient’s overall health or to determine the symptoms.
  • To diagnose a medical issue such as leukocytosis and leukopenia which happens due to fluctuation in the count of White blood cells. Doctors can ask to get this test done to evaluate the WBC count and further monitor whether the treatment is working or not.
  • To diagnose a medical disease like anemia or hypoxia that happens due to fluctuation in the count of red blood cells.
  • To diagnose health conditions such as thrombocytopenia or thrombocytosis which happens due to fluctuation in the platelet counts.
  • CBC blood test is one of the most important tests among all the other tests performed during pregnancy to detect any infection in pregnant women. The CBC test ensures that the child and the mother are healthy.
  • To determine other health issues or to understand the symptoms like tiredness, weakness, fever, or bruising. 

What do the results mean?

The fluctuation in the normal count of the blood components may lead to various blood disorders such as:


  • An abnormal count of hematocrit, hemoglobin, or red blood cells can be a sign of heart disease, anemia or a low level of iron in the body.
  • A decrease in the count of White blood cells can be a sign of bone marrow disorder, cancer or autoimmune disease while an increase in the count of WBCs may be a sign of infection or reaction to medicine.

However, the abnormal count of blood components isn’t always a sign of a serious medical condition that requires treatment. The fluctuation can also be the result of lifestyle, activity level, diet, menstrual issues or lack of hydration etc. It is recommended to consult the authorized medical professional in case of any anomaly.

Wrap up-

The CBC blood test is a crucial comprehensive blood test that helps the doctor evaluate the count of each type of blood cell in the body. The CBC majorly determines the number of White blood cells, platelets and red blood cells. All these cells impact the overall functioning of the body significantly thus it is essential to keep monitoring them regularly.

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