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AA Aplastic anemia

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Old Thu Oct 18, 2012, 02:58 PM
glitterandlace glitterandlace is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: central, CA
Posts: 49
MCV and RDW dropped,, is this a good sign

Hi I have been on alternative therapy for AA for a while now, because I took the chemo the first time and I relapsed. I have had AA for 1 year this time around. So far my hemoglobin, platelets, and WBC have stayed basically the same all year,,,, but I have noticed that my MCV dropped from 101 to 94.8,,,, also my RDW dropped from 25 to 18.7.... I don't know how long this has been going on because I haven't asked for those levels lately..... I usually only ask for hemoglobin, hematocrit, lymphocytes, nuetrophils, and platelets,,, but I did notice a couple months ago that my RDW dropped from 25 to 21-22ish..... but my MCV was still around 100 at that time...... Now they have both dropped even more..... So is this good news or not a big deal?

Other levels in case you are curious.... platelets holding steady between 10-15 for 7 months no transfusions for 7 months.
Hemoglobin I let it drop to 7.0 before I transfuse and It usually takes 5-6 weeks to drop that low.
Lymphocytes range from 70-80%.
Nuetrophils 15-25%
WBC 3.0
Levels have been about like this for over 1 year now, except now my RDW and MCV suddenly dropped only recently,,, before it they were stable in the above stated ranges for most of the year.
I haven't had a blood transfusion for 4 weeks,,, so i think the drops are my real levels,,, not affected by the blood transfusions.

Last edited by glitterandlace : Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 03:43 PM.
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Old Sat Oct 20, 2012, 05:50 PM
dfantle dfantle is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: bellevue, wa
Posts: 150
Hi, would love to know what your alternative therapy is. Please share.

Thank you,
Age 54; DX Heavy Chain (AH) Amyloidosis 6/10; AutoSCT 3/11; Amyloidosis remission 6/11; DX SAA 7/11; Horse ATG 3/12; Mini MUD SCT 1/13; Recovered from SAA 5/13 & feeling great
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Old Sun Oct 21, 2012, 11:29 PM
KMac KMac is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Golden, Colorado
Posts: 103

I have wondered the same with my own MCV and RDW counts, although my pattern has been somewhat different that yours.

I needed my last red blood transfusion about 4 1/2 months ago. For about two months after that, both my RDW and MCV went up steadily, while my red blood counts fell more slowly than normal, and then hovered just above transfusion levels (Hgb 8.0 in my case). Then as my counts actually started to rise, my RDW started to fall (from high 20s to about 15 like yours) and my MCV held in place. That is the trend that continues for me to this day (Hgb 11.4). But my MCV is quite high at about 112.

I was kind of worried about my high MCV and RDW, as I read it could be a sign of MDS and/or leukemia, but none of that came up in my BMB last month, and my Doctor had told me not to worry about that. He said most likely, my marrow is just so stressed it is struggling to make cells as large as it can, to compensate for the fact that it still isn't making a normal amount of them.

My understanding is my lower RDW is because at this point, all the transfused cells are gone, and my entire RBC is made up of my larger than normal, but more uniform in size, cells from my own marrow. I think this is termed 'macrocytosis', a common feature of SAA. In your case, seems you don't have macrocytosis, especially not as of late, so it might be a good sign that your marrow is getting less stressed. I'd guess the best sign would be increasing duration between transfusions. You are going longer than I was though, I needed 2 units every 10-15 days for a while.

I am sorry I don't have a definite answer to your question though, but thought my experience might be a bit helpful for comparison.
Kevin, male age 45; dx SAA 02/2012 - Hgb 5.8, platelets 14, ANC 200, 1% cellularity. Received ATG 03/2012. As of 03/2015, significant improvement - Hgb 15, platelets 158, ANC fluctuates around 1000, Lymphocytes 620. Tapering cyclosporine. BMB 20-30% cellularity.
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Old Sun Oct 28, 2012, 02:00 PM
Lulu Lulu is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 49

From my understanding, a reduction in MCV and RDW is good. The higher the MCV is the bigger your red cells are, and 98 is the upper limit of normal. The higher the RDW is, the more variation in size of red cells, which happens when your body is producing abnormally shaped ones. I have been diagnosed with MDS not AA, but also have high MCV and RDW.

What alternative therapies are you on? I am seeing a chinese herbalist, and taking various supplements, too many to list here, but feel free to PM me!
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Old Fri Apr 19, 2013, 07:08 AM
glitterandlace glitterandlace is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: central, CA
Posts: 49
Hi everyone!!! On my latest blood test my RDW was 12.7.. slowly dropping still. Still RBC transfusion dependent but my platelets have risen after hovering at 10 for more than one year with out transfusions. My last platelet count was 25 but the highest they have been was 40 so far!!! Hopefully like the other girl said her RDW dropping means my RBC will rise soon. =-0 right now I still need blood every 3 and half weeks.
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Old Fri Apr 19, 2013, 10:13 PM
NLJabbari NLJabbari is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: San Jose, California
Posts: 139
Hi Glitterandlace,

I was wondering what is your dx'es. Sorry if I missed it, but I'm not seeing it here.

I'm glad to know that you're doing well on your alternative method. Is it through the use of fresh food and juicing? Are you taking any Vitamins or anything else you might want to share?

So, am I correct that you don't take any meds either?

Please let us know

06/2004 my son was dx with SAA at the age of 10. No sibling BM match. He underwent ATG (H)/CsA. Relapsed 05/12 & dx'ed w/PNH. Currently in wait/see mode for Solaris as he is asymptomatic...
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