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Mean Platelet Volume Blood Test

Last updated Sept. 27, 2018

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD MPH

The Mean Platelet Volume Blood Test helps determine the average size of platelets in blood. It helps diagnose platelet disorders and blood clotting abnormalities.


What are other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • MPV Blood Test

What is Mean Platelet Volume Blood Test? (Background Information)

  • Mean platelet volume refers to the average volume of platelets in blood. It identifies abnormal variations in platelet size, which may be caused by platelet disorders
  • Platelets, or thrombocytes, are cell fragments that help form blood clots. Platelets are derived from large cells called megakaryocytes. Platelets are the result of small parts of megakaryocyte cytoplasm detaching. The platelets have no nucleus
  • The main function of platelets is to form blood clots at the site of an injury. Blood clots stop the flow of blood from a breakage in a blood vessel, thus minimizing blood loss and damage to surrounding tissues
  • Blood clot formation at the site of injured tissue is an essential repair mechanism. However, clots may also form inside the blood vessels. This is a dangerous condition called thrombosis. It may be the result of platelet disorders
  • The Mean Platelet Volume Blood Test helps determine the average size of platelets in blood. It helps diagnose platelet disorders and blood clotting abnormalities

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Mean Platelet Volume Blood Test?

Following are the clinical indicators for performing the Mean Platelet Volume Blood Test:

  • Swelling and tenderness of the extremities
  • Warm skin
  • Frequent and persistent bleeding
  • Slow wound healing
  • Easy bruising

How is the Specimen Collected for Mean Platelet Volume Blood Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Mean Platelet Volume Blood Test:

Sample required: Blood 

Process of obtaining a blood sample in adults:

  • A band is wrapped around the arm, 3-4 inches above the collection site (superficial vein that lies within the elbow pit)
  • The site is cleaned with 70% alcohol in an outward spiral, away from the zone of needle insertion
  • The needle cap is removed and is held in line with the vein, pulling the skin tight
  • With a small and quick thrust, the vein is penetrated using the needle
  • The required amount of blood sample is collected by pulling the plunger of the syringe out slowly
  • The wrap band is removed, gauze is placed on the collection site, and the needle is removed
  • The blood is immediately transferred into the blood container, which has the appropriate preservative/clot activator/anti-coagulant
  • The syringe and the needle are disposed into the appropriate “sharp container” for safe and hygienic disposal

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.

What is the Significance of the Mean Platelet Volume Blood Test Result?

The significance of the Mean Platelet Volume Blood Test result is explained.

  • A high value (greater than 11.0 fL) for the test may point to a diagnosis of:
    • Hypothyroidism
    • Myeloproliferative neoplasms
    • Immune thrombocytopenias
    • Post-chemotherapy
    • Bernard-Soulier syndrome
  • A low value (less than 7.8 fL) for the test may point to a diagnosis of:
    • Thrombocytopenia
    • Sepsis
    • Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?


References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: June 4, 2016
Last updated: Sept. 27, 2018