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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17354
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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RDW 15.1, RBC 3.42, Hemaglobin 10.3, Heamatocrit 30.3 indicates

Resolved Question:

RDW 15.1, RBC 3.42, Hemaglobin 10.3, Heamatocrit 30.3 indicates ?

Is it possible for a Hematologist or Oncologist to also review the above?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 6 years ago.

To give you a more complete answer, it would help if you can provide some further information:

Do you know the result of the MCV?

Have any other blood work been done?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Yes... MCV 88

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information.


The RBC, hemoglobin, and hematocrit are all low, indicating that there is an anemia. The RDW is high which indicates that the size of the various red blood cells is more variable, which is not as worrisome as the fact that there is the anemia. Newly formed red blood cells are larger than older cells, so it is common for the RDW to be elevated when there is anemia. The MCV may help provide guidance as to the cause of the anemia, but since it is normal, it is not helpful.


There are many different possible causes of anemia. Anemia can be due to problems with loss of red blood cells or inadequate production of red blood cells.


Loss of red blood cells can occur from bleeding, such as from ulcers, growths in the gut, or recent surgery. Red blood cells can also be lost because of problems with destroying red blood cells, called a hemolytic anemia.


Decreased production can be due to nutritional deficiencies, such as deficiency in iron, vitamin B12, or folic acid. It also can be due to any condition that affects the bone marrow. It is also can be due to other chronic illnesses, referred to as anemia of chronic disease. This is particularly more common with chronic inflammatory conditions, but can occur with many chronic illnesses.


A low MCV suggests that there is iron deficiency, while a high MCV suggests a vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency. Since the MCV is normal, it either could be a mixed deficiency or it could be due to another cause.


Ultimately, it would require further evaluation to determine which of these possible causes is true in this case. The first step is usually several blood tests and then further tests can be done based upon the findings.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for your answer. This blood test was taken by my mother as I mentioned eariler. The date was Sept 11, 2008.. Over the last, I would say 3 or 4 yrs my mother complaned of tiredness and had swollen feet.. Over the last 3 or 4 yrs she got weaker and weaker... her doctors said they could not find anything wrong... Gave her water pills for the swollen feet... My brother bought her a wheelchair about a yr or two ago... Feb 12, 2010 her doctor and a cardologist both called and said her hemogloben dropped from 9 to 7 in one day... she was hospitalized Feb 12, 2010. about a wk or 2 later the Hematologist/Oncologist said she had about 8 wks to live... She received blood transfusions almost every wk.. and could not take chemo... she was too weak...passed away June 24, 2010...I am having an independent doctor look at her records for late diagnosis of cancer.. I don't know if you would like to add or detract from my comments.............

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 6 years ago.

What type of cancer did she have?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

The Oncologist said ---Limphoma... her family Dr put myloid lukemia on the death cert...


You were on track that someting was wrong from your answer... I don't understand why her 3 doctors didn't run more tests... The Onclogist said to me and my brothers -- "maybe if I had caught it 2 weeks eariler---but thats a guessing game." Quote... I thought --how about 3 or 4 yrs eariler ?

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 6 years ago.

Certainly, lymphoma and leukemia are some of the conditions that can affect the bone marrow and decrease production of red blood cells. The independent review should look at the evaluation that was performed to investigate the cause of the anemia. If there was an inadequate investigation, then there would be a strong argument that the diagnosis could have been made earlier.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you... one last question...Is there anything in her medical records that Would indicate an adequate investigation was done?? ... she was always anemic..... maybe That threw her 3 doctors off track?? The Lab report I quoted was from her Neurologist- he had sent some of the lab reports to her rhumatologist and family Dr---he is the only doctor that refuses to give me her medical records--he claims HIPPA Rules... Wants legal papers showing I'm the execuator-----on one of our last visits to him he said he thought she had "earily stage parkinsons"... sorry to keep you so long.... thinking of signing up for the $45 per mo plan.... Tks Any parting thoughts??? Tk you again.. Jim Diulio

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 6 years ago.

Since the evaluation is a multi-step process, there is no single place to look for the evaluation. The evaluation should have been done when the anemia was first discovered. If an appropriate evaluation was done at one time, there would be no reason to repeat the evaluation if subsequent labs continue to show the anemia. Therefore, it would be necessary to check the medical records at the time that the anemia was first discovered. Parkinson's disease is not associated with anemia, but whatever disease may have warranted an evaluation by a Rheumatologist could cause anemia of chronic disease, as inflammatory diseases are a common cause of anemia of chronic disease.


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