The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Describing a Red Blood Cell Population Using RBC Indices and Red Cell Distribution Width. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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An automated CBC produced the following parameters:

Parameter
Value
Reference Interval
White blood cells (WBC)
5.6 x 109/L
4.0-10.0 x 109/L
Red blood cells (RBC)
3.4 x 1012/L
4.2-5.9 x 1012/L
Hemoglobin
11.1 g/dL
12-16 g/dL
Hematocrit
31%
37-48%
MCV
92 fL
80-100 fL
MCHC
38 g/dL
30-37 g/dL

A specimen for a repeat CBC is received in the laboratory six hours later. The sample visually appears to be much lighter in color than the original sample. The technologist questions whether both samples are from the same patient. Which of the following parameter(s) is LEAST likely to change between samples, if from the same patient, and would be most useful to determine if there is a discrepancy that may be the result of a preanalytical error in sample collection?

Please select the single best answer