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Avatar universal

questions on blood work - what does it mean??

I probably should know this, but I am now into week 19 of 24 and brain function is slower (it seems).

Just got blood work in after week 18.  

WBC up to 2.1, from 2.0
RBC up to 3.64, from 3.55
Hemo up to 11.6, from 11.5
Platelet up to 115, from 108
ANC up to 844, from 790 (lowest was 545 at week 13)

AST 34/ALT 23    (pretreating 105 and 168)

What is MCV, MCH, MCHC, RDW?    My RDW is 15.2 and Quest indicates that as high.

Quest shows hemoglobin to be in range at 11.7 - 15.5 (this blood work showed 11.6 - I still feel totally out of breath at simplest of tasks)

thank you All
7 Responses
Avatar universal
See: http://www.answers.com/topic/red-blood-cell-indices

179856 tn?1333550962
While 11.6 is "low" it's nowhere near low enough for the doctors to do anything about it unfortunately.  They generally make us wait till we drop under 10 before they are willing to write a script for Procrit as it has it's own set of potential problems and is VERY VERY expensive ($6,000 for one box $600 each shot.  I took 2 shots a week for a good portion of my treatment and was on it for 69 weeks total so you can see the expense involved).

Just take it as easy as you can and be careful.  While it is a lower than normal number your body should adjust to it and be able to tolerate it better in time. I went through treatment with my high hemo about 10.5 (even on Procrit) and got used to it eventually. I think our bodies just are amazing and learn how to tolerate anything if they can.

Good luck, your numbers look really good - doesn't seem you have any serious issues going on at all and your numbers seem to be getting a tiny bit stronger which is rare in tx!

You are one of the lucky ones!
Avatar universal
Most of these changes are trivial and will have no adverse effect on you.
I think your normal ALT and AST are fantastic and should encourage you greatly to continue therapy. I hope your 12 week RNA was negative.

The odd thing about ribavirin (I assume you are taking it) is that it sometimes causes breathlessness well out of proportion to the fall in haemoglobin.  In you case, you haemoglobin hasn't fallen at all, and in any case is too high to explain breathlessness.  I have several patients in whom ribavirin seems to have triggered or exacerbated pre-existing asthma, and it may be worth asking your Doc about this next you see him (or, at the least, get him/her to listen to your chest to be sure you aren't wheezing).  

Good luck!
96938 tn?1189803458
For this round of tx I was very methodical in getting GI (tx doc), hematologist, and consulting liverhead and me all on the same page.  Also involved ensuring that we knew what the insurance company point of view was for meds and rescue drugs. As to hemoglbin, I needed to be impaired as little as possible because of job requirements.  The hemoglobin target was to be between 11 and 12 and to intervene as nesessary as it trended back towards 11.  The hematologist uses Aranesp, not Procrit.  Through week 33 of 46 we have managed to maintain the target and I think that doing so has help me to tolerate tx to the extent that I have.  Still no picnic, but the weight of impact to my job has been somewhat lessened.
Avatar universal
I had a Viral load test done at end of week 3 and it was 135 (starting tx it was 1.8 million);  my doctor vanished and found another; on week 8 I had another VL test and it showed <5 IU/ml.    My current doctor indicated she would write another VL test when I see her next which is next week.
179856 tn?1333550962
Thank God - men's hemo DOES generally run higher than a woman's and to start both of us at about 10 just makes no sense at all!  If yours drops 4 points compared to my 3 points at the same starting number isn't that worse?  I'm so glad you found doctors that are making SENSE of everything.  Getting rid of the anemia issues makes treatment generally tolerable I really believe.

This is the time Guy...this is the time...you are already there and done and SVR.  I know it. I actually FEEL it and have no doubt in my mind at all in thsi world.  NONE.

so I'm glad you have doctors to make this experience a better one than the last one.  You've earned it on your final experience treating I think!
96938 tn?1189803458
This IS the final time. And, it ends 9/7/07.
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