Red Blood Cell (RBC) Count

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Turnaround Time: Within 1 day
CPT Code:


Test Type: Tube fill capacity, Whole blood
Stability Time:



Room temperature

1 day


3 days



Freeze/thaw cycles


Reference Range:

x10E6/uL 3.77 − 5.28


Evaluate anemia and loss of red cells and suspected polycythemic condition.

Presence of cold agglutinins may result in falsely low RBC counts.

Decrease in RBC count may be the result of red cell loss by bleeding or hemolysis (intravascular or extravascular), failure of marrow production (due to a broad variety of causes), or may be secondary to dilutional factors (eg, intravenous fluids). Increase in RBC count may be the result of primary polycythemia (polycythemia vera) or secondary polycythemia (hypoxemia of lung or cardiovascular disease, increased erythropoietin production associated with renal cyst, renal cell carcinoma, cerebellar hemangioblastoma, or high O2 affinity hemoglobinopathy) including stress polycythemia (hemoconcentration associated with exercise, exertion, fright, etc).

Collection Details:

Collection Instructions:

Lavender-top (EDTA) tube.

Invert tube immediately 8 to 10 times once tube is filled at time of collection.

Maintain specimen at room temperature.