Mentzer index

MCV divided by the RBC count.

Helpful in differentiating iron deficiency anemia from beta thalassemia


Mentzer index

Mentzer index

Quotient of the mean corpuscular volume (MCV, in fL) divided by the red blood cell count (RBC, in Millions per microLiter)

Mentzer index

Less than 13 Suggests thalassemia more likely

Greater than 13 Suggests iron-deficiency anemia more likely


Principle of Mentzer index


Iron deficiency


Marrow cannot produce as many RBCs

Small (microcytic),

RBC count and the MCV will both be low, and as a result, the index will be greater than 13.

Iron deficiency

Thalassemia


Disorder of globin synthesis

Number of RBCs produced is normal

Cells are smaller and more fragile.

RBC count is normal, but the MCV is low,

so the index will be less than 13

Thalassemia

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