Monday, July 13, 2009

Red cell distribution width, morbidity and mortality

The red cell distribution width (RDW), one of the automated red cell indices, is a measure of variation in red cell size (anisocytosis). Its ubiquitous presence on the CBC report, though a useful troubleshooting tool in patients with anemia, is usually ignored by clinicians. Now there is evidence that it may predict morbidity and mortality in patients with heart failure and coronary artery disease as well as in the general population. The mechanism is not understood.

H/T to Retired Doc.

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