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Anthony Bray, MD
Anthony Bray, MD, Doctor
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Experience:  14 years as clinician in the field of Family Practice
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what does it mean when my baso, rdw-sd and rdw-cv and always

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what does it mean when my baso, rdw-sd and rdw-cv and always high? I suffer from DVTs and recurring anemia.

Hello! The RDW stands for red cell distribution width. This is what we call a minor index as opposed to a major index of your blood counts. The abnormal high rdw reflects something going on in the body's manufacturing of your redblood cells. Sometimes things like your iron deficiency history may account for this. Sometimes the increased rdw is due to some combination of factors >> iron deficiency plus B-12 deficiency as a common example. (( the reason that the combination is likely to lead to a high rdw is that iron usually causes the body to produce abnormally small red cells while B-12 does the opposite ; namely leading to the making of abnormally large red cells.)) Thus the more you have a mix of large and small the higher the rdw. RDW-cv stands for coefficient of variation , by the way and normal range is 11.5 to 14.5 %. ((OK --medical trivia , right?) and RDW-sd stands for standard deviation --normal range 35 to 47fL (a unit of volume). Certain defficiencies of nutrients such as iron, folate and B-12 may cause anemia plus abnormal RDW. The iron infusions suggests to me that you suffer severe iron deficiency that for some reason does not respond to oral therapy. If you have to take a proton pump inhibitor such as Nexium, Protonix, Aciphex, Prilosec, Prevacid ; then this could be the explanation. The absorption of iron requires a high acid environment in the stomach. Some people do not tolerate this well. If you have stomach disease history such as ulcers then this might also affect your B-12 absorption. The stomach produces a protein called intrinsic factor. B-12 must connect with intrinsic factor and this complex is only absorbed in the last 6 inches of the small intestine. If this system of absobreaks down then no matter your oral intake of B-12 then you may not absorb it as you should. If not already tested then it should be. The abnormal tendancy to form clots leading to DVT's may relate to many different factors. The risk factor that led to you developing the past DVT may be established. The coumadin of course helps to reduce risk of recurrence of this problem but also may be a contributing factor for your anemia. The basophil count is a subset of your white blood cells. It is unusual for this subset to be very high as this is normally one of the smallest group of white cells. With the combination of issues all connected to your blood , I would recommend that you see a hematologist if you are not already. I hope this information helps. Further questions are welcome if you have any. If my answer has been helpful and to your satisfaction then please remember to press the "ACCEPT" button. Thank You and Best Regards,


Anthony Bray MD

Edited by Anthony Bray MD on 11/13/2009 at 3:20 PM EST
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