# Rdw high and pdw low means?

RDW is an abbreviation which stands for 'red blood cell distribution width and is usually conducted when a doctor orders a complete blood count to be done on a patient. If you have been told you have a high RDW then your red blood cell distribution width is abnormally high. However, please remember that this website cannot give out professional medical advice so if you have any concerns with your test results then you should speak to your doctor who will be able to explain it to your properly.

• How is RDW calculated?
The value of RDW is initially calculated by dividing the standard deviation (SD) value by the mean corpuscle volume (MCV). The figure that is gained here is then multiplied by 100. The standard deviation is shown by the volume of red blood cells of erythrocytes that are present inside the patient's blood smear.

The equation for calculating RDW would therefore be RDW = SD / MCV x 100.

• What RDW value is considered normal?
The ideal RDW value is around 13 percent when the above calculation is used, however "normal" values can sit anywhere between 11 and 14 percent. If a person's RDW value is significantly higher then there are several things that could be causing this. In a report published by the Archives of Internal Medicine, calculating a patient's RDW value can play an essential role in predicting the mortality of patients who suffer from cancer or cardiovascular disease.

It has also been found that patients who are found to have a higher than average RDW count may actually suffer from more health problems than people who have lower than average RDW counts.

If you have been told something about one of your test results then the worst possible thing you can do is to go on the Internet and try to diagnose yourself using Google. This will only make you panic so you should speak to your doctor who will be able to explain the test results more and answer any questions that you may have.
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