MPV stands for mean platelet volume. Platelets are small blood cells that stick together to make blood clots that stop or slow bleeding when you have a cut or injury. Platelets are made in your bone marrow.
An MPV blood test measures the average size of your platelets. The test can help diagnose bleeding disorders and diseases of the bone marrow.
Other names: Mean Platelet Volume
What is it used for?
An MPV blood test is used to help diagnose or monitor many blood-related conditions. The test may also be used to help diagnose other health conditions or find out how serious they may be. A test called a platelet count is often done with an MVP test. A platelet count measures the total number of platelets in your blood.
Why do I need an MPV blood test?
Your health care provider may order an MPV blood test as part of a complete blood count (CBC), which measures many different parts of your blood, including platelets. A CBC test is often part of a routine exam. You may also need an MPV test if you have symptoms of a blood disorder that may involve having too many or too few platelets. These symptoms include:
- Bleeding that takes a long time to stop, even from minor cuts
- Bleeding from brushing your teeth
- Small red or purplish spots on the skin
- Bruising easily
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding (especially heavy menstrual periods)
- Feeling weak or dizzy
- Lasting headache and dizziness
- Pain and burning in the feet and hands
What happens during an MPV blood test?
During the test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?
You don’t need any special preparations for an MPV blood test. If your provider has ordered more tests on your blood sample, you may need to fast (not eat or drink) for several hours before the test. Your provider will let you know if there are any special instructions to follow.
Are there any risks to the test?
There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.
What do the results mean?
An MPV test alone can’t diagnose a health condition. Your provider will use your MPV results along with your platelet counts and other test results to get a more complete picture of your health. Depending on your platelet count and other blood test results, an MPV result that’s higher than normal may be a sign of:
- Thrombocytopenia, not having enough platelets
- Myeloproliferative diseases, blood cancers in which the bone marrow makes too many platelets or other blood cells
- Preeclampsia, a complication in pregnancy that causes high blood pressure. It usually starts after the 20th week of pregnancy.
- Heart disease
- Hemolytic anemia
A low MPV test result may be a sign of:
- Certain cancers
- Side effects from certain medicines
- Aplastic anemia
- Autoimmune diseases
- Bacterial or viral infections
- Genetic conditions
- Alcohol use disorder (AUD)
To learn what your results mean, talk with your provider.
Is there anything else I need to know about an MPV blood test?
Many things can affect the results of your MPV blood test. Your age, sex, race and ethnicity, lifestyle (diet, smoking, drinking alcohol, physical activity), and genes can affect both your MPV and platelet counts.
Courtesy of MedlinePlus from the National Library of Medicine.