• Muhammad Ihtesham Khan Pathology Department, Khyber Medical College, Peshawar Pakistan
  • Saman Waqar Pathology Department, Federal Medical Dental College, Islamabad Pakistan


Objective: To determine sensitivity of Mean Cell Volume (MCV) in detecting megaloblastic anemia.

Study design: It was a Cross Sectional Descriptive study.

Setting: The study was done in Pathology Department, Khyber Teaching Hospital, Peshawar.

Duration: The study was done from January 2016 to December 2016 (one-year period)

Material and Methods:  A total of 337 patients underwent bone marrow biopsy during the study period, out of which 46 patients were diagnosed as having megaloblastic anemia on the basis of bone marrow aspirate examination and Vit B12 levels. The cut off value of MCV was taken as 100 f L for macrocytosis. Mean cell volume of cases diagnosed as megaloblastic anemia were recorded in a proforma and sensitivity was calculated. All cell counts were done on automated cell counter machine.

Results: Out of 337 patients referred to pathology department for bone marrow aspiration, about 46 cases were diagnosed as megaloblastic anemia on basis of bone marrow examination and serum B12 levels. These 46 cases were included in the study. Age of the patients ranged from 1 year to 90 years (mean 32.2 years ± 12.1 SD). There were 36 (78%) males and 10 (22%) females, with male to female ratio of 3.5 :1. Out of 46 patients of megaloblastic anemia, about 15(32%) cases had MCV above 100 fL. So, sensitivity of MCV was calculated to be 32%.

Conclusion: MCV had poor sensitivity in our study. So, it is an unreliable screening parameter to be used for giving the presumptive diagnosis of megaloblasic anemia. If MCV is raised, it only warrants that further workup should be done to find the cause of macrocytosis.

Keywords: Mean corpuscular volume, Megaloblastic anemia, Sensitivity, Bone marrow aspiration.