Blood count (erythrogram): what is it, what is it for and results

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The complete hemogram is the blood test that evaluates the cells that make up the blood, such as leukocytes, known as white blood cells; los hematíes, also called red globules or erythrocytes y; the platelets.

The part of the hemogram that corresponds to the analysis of hematíes receives the name of the erythrogram, which, in addition to indicating the quantity of blood cells, informs about the quality of the hematíes, indicating whether they are of adequate size or with the adequate quantity of hemoglobin in their interior, being an essential tool in the diagnosis of anemia. This information is provided by the blood indices that are HCM, VCM, CHCM and ADE.

For your collection it is not necessary to be in days, however, it is recommended not to perform physical activity 24 hours before the exam and not to drink alcoholic beverages 48 hours before performing it, because the result may change.

what is it for

The hemogram is used for diagnosis and monitoring the evolution of diseases that cause changes in blood, such as:

  • La anemia;
  • Bone marrow disorders;
  • Bacterial, fungal or viral infections;
  • Inflammatory processes;
  • Cancer, especially leukemia or lymphoma;
  • Changes in platelets such as their increase (thrombocytosis) or decrease (thrombocytopenia);
  • Monitoring situations that can compromise the functioning of the bone marrow, such as during chemotherapy, for example.

In addition, the hemogram is useful to monitor chronic diseases that may lead to anemia such as renal failure, rheumatoid arthritis, heart failure or pulmonary diseases, for example.

how is it done

The examination is carried out in an automated way by means of a flujo cytometry equipment, whose function is to count, evaluate and classify the blood cells according to various established criteria.

However, despite the fact that the result is provided by the team, it is necessary to carry out a microscopic analysis, called blood samples, which is carried out by a qualified professional in Clinical Analysis. The differential count consists of the differentiation of leukocytes and the visualization of structures present in the hematíes or in the leukocytes. In addition, the content by means of the microscope allows the identification of immature cells and, therefore, can help to diagnose leukemia, for example.

How to interpret the hemogram

To interpret the hemogram, the physician must observe its results and verify if the values ​​are normal, high or low, in addition to relating them to possible symptoms presented by the person and the result of other tests that may have been requested. Some situations that can be observed in a hemogram are:

1. Red globules, erythrocytes or erythrocytes

The erythrogram is part of the hemogram in which the characteristics of red blood cells are analyzed.

HCT – Hematocrit It represents the percentage of the volume that occupies the red globules in the total volume of blood from a sample.

High: Dehydration, polycythemia and shock;

Below: Anemia, excessive blood loss, kidney disease, deficiency of blood and proteins and sepsis.

Hb – Hemoglobin It is one of the components of red blood cells and is responsible for the transport of oxygen.

High: Polycythemia, heart failure, lung diseases and at high altitudes;

Low: Embarrassment, anemia, kidney deficiency, cancer, malnutrition, kidney disease, liver disease and lupus.

In addition to the quantity of red blood cells, a hemogram should also analyze its morphological characteristics, as it can also indicate illnesses. This evaluation is carried out by means of the following hematimetric indices:

  • MCV or Medium Corpuscular Volume: measures the size of the hematíes, which can be increased in some types of anemia due to vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency, alcoholism or changes in the bone marrow. If it is reduced, it may indicate anemia due to a deficiency of a genetic origin, such as Thalasemia, for example. Find more information about VCM;
  • HCM or Corpuscular Hemoglobin Media: indicates the total concentration of hemoglobin through the analysis of the size and coloration of the red blood cell. Know more about the HCM;
  • CHCM or Average corpuscular hemoglobin concentration: demonstrates the concentration of hemoglobin per red globule, which is normally reduced in anemia, this situation being called hypochromia;
  • Range of erythrocyte distribution or ADE (RDW): It is an index that indicates the percentage of variation in size between the hematíes of a sample of blood, so if there are hematíes of different sizes in the sample, the exam can change, being able to be a clue to identify the beginning of anemia due to deficiency of hierro or vitamins, for example, and their reference values ​​are between 10 and 15%. Know more about the RDW.

More information about normal blood count values.

2. White blood cells (Leukocytes)

The leukogram is an important test to help check the person’s immunity and how the body can react to different situations such as infections and inflammatory processes, for example. When the concentration of leukocytes is high it is called leukocytosis and when the leukopenia is low. See what are the leukocytes and their normal values.


High: Infections, inflammation, cancer, trauma, stress, diabetes or gout.

Below: Lack of vitamin B12, sickle cell anemia, use of steroids, post surgery or thrombocytopenic purpura.


High: Allergy, parasitosis, pernicious anemia, ulcerative colitis or Hodgkin’s disease.

Below: Use of beta-blockers, corticoids, stress, bacterial or viral infection.


High: After extirpating the spleen, chronic myeloid leukemia, polycythemia, chickenpox or Hodgkin’s disease.

low: Hyperthyroidism, acute infections, embarrassment or anaphylactic shock.


High: Infectious Mononucleosis, Paperas, Measles and Acute Infections.

low: Infection or malnutrition.


High: Myelomonocytic leukemia, lipid storage disease, protozoan infection or chronic ulcerative colitis.

low: Aplastic anemia.

3. Platelets

Platelets are cell fragments that are very important for being responsible for the beginning of the coagulation process. The normal value of platelets should be between 150,000 to 450,000/mm³ of blood.

Elevated platelets can cause blood clots and thrombi, increasing the risk of suffering a thrombosis or pulmonary embolism and, on the contrary, when they are low, they can increase the risk of bleeding. Know what are the causes and what to do in case of low platelets.

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Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

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