Update: November 2018
Hematocrit is one of the indicators of a general blood test, though
perhaps not as well known to an ordinary person as hemoglobin,
leukocytes, red blood cells, ESR.
This indicator determines the ratio of the liquid part of the blood and
contained in her cells and is very important. Changes it
as downward and upward fraught
various complications and requires correction.
What is hematocrit
Our blood is one of many varieties of our tissues.
organism. Like any tissue, it consists of cells and extracellular
substances. Its main feature is that it is liquid, the cells are not connected
among themselves and are in free swimming. Only in this form
blood can perform its circulatory function.
Blood cells are red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, and
the main position here is taken by red blood cells –
red blood cells. They are a thousand times larger than leukocytes and
The liquid part of the blood is plasma. It is 90% water.
the rest are proteins and other organic and
The content of the liquid part in the blood – about 60%, the content
cells – 40% respectively.
So the percentage or volume content of cell mass by
relation to plasma – and there is hematocrit. The term is derived from
greek hemat roots – (blood) and krites (judge). Here it can
go about all the blood cells or just about red blood cells that
does not significantly change the essence of the concept (leukocytes and platelets occupy
no more than 1% of the total cell mass).
It is defined either as a percentage or as a decimal.
|Hematocrit is elevated in a newborn baby||50 ÷ 70% (0.5-0.7)|
|Newborn at week age||37 ÷ 49% (0.37-0.49)|
|In a baby at three months, it is reduced||30 ÷ 36% (0.3-0.36)|
|A child is one year old||28 ÷ 45% (0.28-0.45)|
|In ten years||36 ÷ 40% (0.36-0.4)|
|In adult women||36 ÷ 46% (0.36-0.46)|
|In adult males||38-50% (0.38-0.5)|
How to determine this indicator
Hematocrit is determined simply: in a special tube
(its inner walls are treated with a substance that prevents
coagulation) blood is collected. The tube is placed in a centrifuge.
where under the action of centrifugal force occurs sedimentation
red blood cells. The blood is divided into two layers. Simple measurement
The lower bar is used to determine the hematocrit value.
The measurement of this indicator is included in the programs of all produced
by different hematology analyzer firms. In such an analysis
it will be labeled NST or PCV.
Blood hematocrit is elevated if the ratio between suspended
cells and the liquid part is changing: the cell becomes larger, and
Elevated hematocrit in the blood is as absolute (increase
the number of red blood cells) and relative (the number of cells is not
changed, but there was a loss of fluid for some reason).
The main reasons for the increase in this indicator:
- Erythremia (polycythemia, Vaces disease). This is a tumor
hematopoietic disease characterized by
benign course. At the same time in peripheral blood
increased hematocrit (up to 60-80%), red blood cells (up to 6-12 million in 1 ml),
hemoglobin (up to 200 g / l), platelets.
- Symptomatic erythrocytosis. This is a compensatory answer.
hypoxia: with a decrease in oxygen in the body
the number of red blood cells increases. Such states can
be observed in smokers suffering from chronic diseases
respiratory organs, diabetes, some heart defects.
- Increased hematocrit in the analysis observed in residents
highland areas, as well as athletes. it’s the same
- Tumors of the kidneys. Erythropoietin is produced in the kidney cells –
red blood stimulant. In renal cell carcinoma
production is increased, and accordingly the number
red blood cells.
- Loss of fluid with vomiting, diarrhea, sweating,
with burns, intestinal obstruction, ascites.
- Overdose of diuretic drugs.
- Long-term use of steroid hormones.
- Insufficient fluid intake.
How is elevated hematocrit manifested
The increase in the proportion of red blood cells in the blood can not
manifest, or may be separate, absolutely non-specific
- feeling of pressure in the head;
- fast fatiguability;
- redness of the skin.
With such symptoms a person may not go to a doctor for a long time, and
the problem may increase and lead to serious
See Dense blood, Why I am constantly freezing, General analysis
How is it dangerous
What does it mean if hematocrit is elevated? How dangerous is it?
- The cause of elevated hematocrit may indicate a formidable
a disease (for example, erythremia or kidney cancer).
- Гематокрит – это синоним вязкости blood. The higher the viscosity, the
the slower the blood flows through the vessels, the higher the risk of stasis and
formation of blood clots. A thrombosis in the vessels of small and medium caliber
– These are strokes, heart attacks, thrombophlebitis, thromboembolism. These are the ones
most terrible complications that most often lead to
What to do
If hematocrit is elevated in an adult or child with a known
diagnosis, it is a reason for doctors to adjust the treatment. Usually
at the same time appointed:
- intravenous infusion of saline for dilution
- revision of doses of some medications taken;
- oxygenation (inhalation with oxygen) in patients with respiratory
or heart failure.
If elevated hematocrit is detected by chance in a patient with
nonspecific complaints or no symptoms at all, this is the reason
be examined and at the same time take measures to reduce viscosity
All possible reasons for this should be analyzed.
conditions (mountain living, smoking, chronic
bronchitis, medication taken). Maybe a person just drinks a little
With a significant increase in both hematocrit and
red blood cell and platelet may need bone puncture
brain to exclude hematopoietic germ tumor.
Be sure to do a kidney ultrasound, to investigate the function
external respiration (spirometry), echocardiography. Accurate needed
calculation of the liquid drunk per day and the selected urine (water
Simultaneously with the survey, measures should be taken to reduce
this indicator. To do this, it is recommended to drink more fluid
moreover, it should not be tea and coffee, but clean water or juice.
Sometimes a doctor may prescribe antiplatelet agents (aspirin,
clopidogrel). They will not lower the hematocrit, since
cells will not affect in any way. But they prevent platelets from sticking together.
and reduce the risk of blood clots in conditions of increased viscosity