What Does a Low MPV Mean?

MPV is the abbreviated form of Mean Platelet Volume. It is a reading which represents the size of the platelets in a blood sample and is determined by a machine. CBC or Complete Blood Profile is the test in which the calculation of this reading is usually included. The use of this reading is made in determining the rate of production of platelets in patients who are suffering from problems or diseases related to platelet destruction or bone morrow. It can provide the doctors with the knowledge of whether the body is generating more platelets than normal since the size of the platelet becomes enlarged in such circumstances.

What Is the Normal Range of MPV?

The volume of the platelets is calculated in femtoliter which is denoted by “fL”, and under normal circumstances ranges in between 7.5 fL to 11.5 fL. However, in most cases a reading in between 9.7 to 12.8 fL is considered safe which corresponds to spheres having diameters of 2.65 to 2.9 µm.

What Does a Low MPV Mean?

Having a Low MPV indicates that the platelet count in your blood is lower than normal and that you are in danger of suffering more blood loss in case you get injured. Besides this, a low MPV is also considered a symptom of many other diseases and disorders.

1. Normal Conditions

Females usually have a low reading of MPV in the initial days of her menses. Low reading of MPV is also observed in infants and newborns, which is completely normal. However, the MPV readings are elevated in women who have given birth recently.

A mistake in the collection of blood sample is also regarded as a reason for a low MPV reading. This mistake which rarely occurs causes the blood in the sample to clot before it is tested. Since the platelets in the blood have already been used up in turning the blood sample from liquid state to solid, the results of the test show a low value of platelets which in fact is a false reading.

2. Abnormal Conditions

There is no single cause for a low reading of MPV. You can have a low platelet count for a number of different reasons.

  • Usually a low MPV is associated with viral infections among which AIDS is the most prominent one.
  • The use of a drug like heparin, which lowers your platelet count or an overactive spleen are other reasons that can account for a low MPV reading.
  • Thrombocytopenia is usually the culprit in cases where the patients have an extraordinarily low level of MPV especially if it has resulted from aplastic anemia which impairs the production of the platelets in the body. Excessive bleeding is the most common problem encountered by patients who suffer from thrombocytopenia since their platelet count is very low which makes it difficult for their blood to clot quickly.
  • Patients suffering from genetic disorders such as lupus or hemolytic disorders such as anemia also are most likely to have a lower MPV reading than normal. Autoimmune disorders which include lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and leukemia are among the major reasons that may result in a person having abnormally low values of MPV.