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Mean platelet volume (MPV) is a measurement of the average size of platelets found in blood and is typically included in blood tests. Since the average platelet size is larger when the body is producing increased numbers of platelets, MPV test results can be used to make inferences about platelet production in bone marrow.
Abnormally low MPV values correlate primarily with thrombocytopenia when it is due to impaired production as in aplastic anemia.
MPV is increased, even appears as "giant platelets", when there is increased peripheral destruction, as in immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), and in myeloproliferative disorders and Bernard-Soulier syndrome.
In medicine, mean platelet volume (MPV) is a measurement that describes the average size of platelet cells in the blood. It is a measurement that is usually included in the results of a typical comprehensive blood test. The importance of mean platelet volume lies in the fact that this measurement provides an indicator as to whether the bone marrow is manufacturing platelets normally.
Platelets are a type of red blood cell, which plays a vital role in helping to form blood clots. Platelet aggregation works to stop bleeding when tissues, veins, or arteries are cut, or suffer other kinds of physical damage. The most basic measure of platelet health is usually considered to be the platelet count. When a person has a severe problem with platelet production, a low platelet count will normally be detected in a basic blood test.
The MPV measurement, on the other hand, is a more subtle type of measurement than a simple platelet count, and a patient's MPV may enable a doctor to detect a problem before it shows up as a low platelet count. Simplistically, the basic reason for this is that newly produced platelets tend to be larger than older platelets. Therefore, if a patient's blood test result does not register a low platelet volume, but does show a reduced mean platelet volume measurement, this suggests that fewer new platelets are being produced, which may be an early indicator of a serious bone marrow problem.
A normal measurement for mean platelet volume may be considered to be in the range of 5.0 15.0 femtoliters (one quadrillionth of a liter). However, the MPV measurement normally needs to be assessed in conjunction with several other factors in order to determine what a satisfactory range is for a specific patient. Research suggests that the average healthy size of platelets may differ in people of differing races. Individuals of Mediterranean descent, for example, are believed to have a higher than average platelet size.
Low MPV measurements are relatively rare, and may be associated with serious illnesses such as leukemia. An elevated MPV, on the other hand, can indicate an increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disorder. Elevated MPV typically indicates either a high rate of platelet production, or an increased stimulation leading to large individual cells that are more likely to produce clotting. Elevated mean platelet volume is also common in patients with certain forms of diabetes.
All information on this page is intended for your general knowledge only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.