The Hemogram blood test is another way to refer to the complete blood count that is routinely ordered by doctors. This blood test is used to measure how healthy someone happens to be at any given moment. Once a healthy baseline set of numbers has been established, doctors are able to see the presence of infections, diseases, and other disorders like anemia.
This is one of the most common blood tests that is ordered today. It is often part of an annual physical exam. No preparation is required for the test in most circumstances.
The Hemogram Blood Test Measures Several Things
As a complete blood count, the Hemogram blood test is going to measure several different components of a person’s blood composition. It is not a definitive test, so doctors will only be able to see if something is wrong when results come back as abnormal. More specific tests are required as follow-up to determine a diagnosis.
Here are some of the measurements that a doctor will look at when they receive the results of a Hemogram blood test.
This is a measurement of the red blood cells [RBCs] in the blood.
This is a measurement how much of the protein that carries oxygen throughout the blood.
Mean Corpuscular Volume.
This test looks as the average size of RBCs to determine if they are larger or smaller than normal. Larger cells indicate deficiencies.
Bleeding and clotting indicate abnormal conditions when too many or too few platelets are in a Hemogram blood test sample.
Total White Blood Cell [WBC] Count.
The WBCs are the body’s fighters and will work to ward off infections, germ invasions, or attack the body itself at times. Increases in WBCs indicate infection, disease, or an autoimmune disorder.
The concentration of corpuscular hemoglobin looks at what is actually inside the RBCs. This part of the complete blood count can help to detect congenital disorders or measure how effective treatments are for severe burn injuries. It will also detect some specific types of anemia.
Once the blood draw has been taken, sometimes the laboratory will press samples of the blood between two glass plates to look at the number of cells that are present. This is called a blood smear. The goal of doing this is to manually determine the shape, size, and count of RBCs, WBCs, and platelets so that the information can be sent to the doctor. This is done when malaria, sickle cell disease, or even leukemia may be suspected.
Most people who have the Hemogram blood test will have results that come back as being defined as normal. Having one or two counts that are slightly abnormal may or may not be medically significant. Biological variables are often considered as part of the testing process when these test results are analyzed.
When Will the Hemogram Blood Test Be Ordered?
Outside of the annual exam, doctors will order the Hemogram blood test to obtain results if they suspect there is a hidden health issue that a regular physical exam cannot detect. Checking to see how much blood has been lost from internal bleeding, checking for an infection, or managing radiation and drug therapies for cancer treatments are just a few reasons why it would be ordered.
It is also used as a screening tool for patients who are about to go into surgery. The first CBC is used as a baseline set of numbers pre-surgery to compare with post-surgery to track recovery.
What Affects the Outcome of the Hemogram Blood Test?
There are several lifestyle habits that may affect the overall results of the Hemogram blood test. A high RBC count can be caused by kidney disease, for example, but it can also be caused by excessive drinking, smoking, and even exposure to carbon monoxide. Dehydration also causes high RBC counts.
The same is true for WBC counts. High WBC numbers can indicate the presence of cancer or kidney failure, but it can also be caused by the presence of a high amount of emotional or physical stress. Malnutrition and certain forms of arthritis will also cause high WBC counts.
High platelet values are often seen with bleeding and iron deficiency issues. Low counts can point to certain conditions that affect or destroy platelets or may be an indication that a pregnancy has occurred.
The Hemogram Blood Test Results Are Individual By Nature.
Normal values have a range they fall within because everyone is a little different from each other. Only a medical professional can indicate what any specific results mean for a specific patient.