🩸 Blood Health Biomarker Test

Your organs and tissues of your body rely on oxygen to work properly. Oxygen is delivered throughout the body via the circulatory system, which is composed of the arteries, veins and capillaries that carry blood and oxygen where they need to go.

When we take a breath, oxygen is taken into the lungs and exchanged for carbon dioxide in the blood. Newly oxygenated blood leaves the lungs and travels through pulmonary veins to the heart, where it is then pumped out through arteries to the tissues and organs. Once the oxygen has been depleted and replaced with carbon dioxide, deoxygenated blood returns to the heart via the veins and is pumped back to the lungs for the carbon dioxide-oxygen exchange.

In addition to its oxygen transport role, the blood also plays an important role in delivering nutrients and hormones, removing waste, transporting immune cells and regulating body temperature.

The main components of the blood are red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs) and platelets.

Read More About the Components

Red Blood Cells (RBCs), or erythrocytes, are the most common blood cell type and are responsible for carrying oxygen. The oxygen transport capabilities of RBCs are due to a molecule called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin directly binds oxygen and therefore, the more hemoglobin an RBC contains, the more oxygen it can carry.

Normal range4.2 to 5.8 million/µL

An RBC count measures the total number of RBCs in a blood sample. Abnormal RBC numbers can cause health issues and are often reflected by changes in hemoglobin levels. For example, anemia is a condition that occurs when hemoglobin levels fall too low, and in some cases, is due to decreased RBC numbers. This, in turn, may lead to decreased oxygen delivery to the tissues. in contrast, polycythemia occurs when too many RBCs are present; this can cause the blood to be thicker than normal, increasing the risk for blood clots and subsequent heart attack or stroke.

Normal range: 13.2 to 17.1 g/dL

A hemoglobin test measures levels of hemoglobin in the blood and the resultant amount of oxygen that can be carried by RBCs. This test may be performed to check for anemia, a condition that is characterized by low levels of hemoglobin.

Normal range: 27 to 33 pg/cell.

MCH measures the average total amount of hemoglobin in a RBC.

Normal range: 32 to 36 g/dL.

MCHC measures the average concentration of hemoglobin in a given volume of blood. 

Normal range: 80 to 100 fL

MCV measures the average size of RBCs and may be used to determine the underlying cause of anemia.

Normal range: 11.0% to 15.0%.

RDW may be measured as part of a complete blood count, and reports the variability in RBC size. Abnormal RDW may be a sign of anemia or iron deficiency.

Normal range: =< 15 mm/h

The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) measures the rate that RBCs fall (or sediment) in a test tube over the course of an hour. It indirectly measures the amount of inflammation in the body; inflammatory factors in the blood cause RBCs to stick together, thereby causing them to fall more slowly during the test.

Platelets are blood cell fragments made in the bone marrow that are key players in blood clotting. Platelets become activated when they come across a damaged blood vessel. There, they stick to the damaged vessel and eventually form a clot that plugs the hole in the vessel. 

Having too many (thrombocythemia) or too few platelets (thrombocytopenia) can cause clotting and bleeding problems. Too many platelets may increase the risk for blood clots, which can cause a heart attack or stroke. Conversely, not enough platelets can increase the risk of bleeding due to reduced clotting ability.

Normal Range: 140-400 thousand/uL

Platelet count is a measure of how many platelets are in your blood, after adjusting for blood volume. Too many and too few can both cause medical problems.

Normal range: 7.5 to 12.5 fL.

MPV  measures the average size of platelets in a blood sample. Platelet size has been shown to reflect platelet activity and can be used to help understand the origin and cause of platelet disorders.

White Blood Cells (WBCs), also called leukocytes, are part of the immune response, which defends our bodies against external pathogens or stimuli. WBCs circulate within the bloodstream, lymphatic system, and tissues, and are responsible for allergic reactions and fighting infections. The three major types of WBCs are: lymphocytes (T cells, B cells, and natural killer cells), monocytes, and granulocytes (neutrophils, basophils, and eosinophils). 

Normal range: 3.8 to 10.8 Thousands/µL.

A WBC count measures the total number of WBCs in a blood sample. However, since there are different types of WBCs, each of which has a different job, more detailed information about the makeup of a WBC population may be helpful in diagnosing certain conditions, like leukemia.

Normal range: 0 to 200 cells/µL.

Basophils are a type of granulocyte (a subset of WBCs) and participate in allergic reactions. Basophils make up a small percentage of total WBCs (1–2%), but their numbers may increase during an active allergic reaction. Basophilia occurs when basophil numbers become abnormally high and could be a sign of an underlying condition such as certain types of leukemia.

Normal range: 15-500 cells/µL.

Eosinophils are a type of granulocyte and are thought to be important for fighting infections caused by parasites and for the inflammatory response in allergic reactions. They make up about 5% of total WBCs in the blood. Eosinophilia is a condition that occurs when eosinophil levels become too high and may be present during an active allergic reaction or parasite infection. 

Normal range: 850 to 3,900 cells/µL.

An absolute lymphocyte test measures the total number of lymphocytes in the blood. Lymphocytes are a group of WBCs that includes B cells, T cells, and natural killer (NK) cells. Lymphocytes circulate in the bloodstream, lymphatic system, and tissues. In particular, B cells develop in the bone marrow, while T cells develop in the thymus. Once mature, they are the major cell types responsible for adaptive immunity and make up 20–45% of WBC types in the blood. B cells and T cells patrol the body, looking for foreign material, such as bacteria or viruses. Once encountered, B cells become activated to produce antibodies against the foreign invader, which stimulate the immune response. There are multiple types of T cells, which can kill target cells (cytotoxic T cells), stimulate B cells to produce antibodies and activate macrophages (helper T cells), or maintain low-level surveillance (memory T cells). NK cells also kill target cells (for example, cells infected with bacteria or viruses) by breaking them apart, but in a non-specific manner.

Normal range: 200 to 950 cells/µL.

The absolute monocyte count measures the total number of monocytes in a blood sample. Monocytes circulate throughout the bloodstream and become macrophages once they enter a tissue. Monocytes and macrophages make up about 5% of WBCs in the blood and are responsible for engulfing and destroying bacteria and other pathogenic material.

Normal range: 1,500 to 7,800 cells/µL.

The absolute neutrophil count measures the total number of neutrophils in a blood sample. Neutrophils are another type of granulocyte and act to engulf and destroy bacteria. Neutrophilia is a condition that occurs when too many neutrophils are present and can be present during an active infection; elevated numbers of neutrophils are produced during an infection to help fight that infection. Conversely, neutropenia occurs when neutrophil levels are too low and can be present following radiation therapy or treatment with certain drugs.

Learn About the Biomarkers in Each System

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