Blood Basics

What causes high RDW on a blood count?

A Answers (1)

  • AKristy L. France, Cardiology, answered on behalf of Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
    Measurement of RDW, or random distribution of red cell width, provides health care professionals with information regarding the size of red blood cells which can assist in clarifying diagnosis of anemia. RDW can be high due to: B12 and Pernicious anemia; folic acid anemia; iron deficiency anemia; hemolytic anemia; transfusions; sideroblastic anemia; or alcohol abuse. A low RDW can indicate any of the following: iron deficiency anemia due to parasites, blood loss, or poor iron absorption; vitamin B6 anemia; or rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
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