What is MPV Lab Testing? A Complete Guide

by | Jul 1, 2024 | Blogs

Mean Platelet Volume (MPV) testing is a crucial diagnostic tool in modern medicine. MPV testing assesses the average size of platelets in the bloodstream, offering valuable insights into various health conditions including cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory disorders, and bone marrow function. Understanding MPV values enables healthcare professionals to diagnose and manage these conditions effectively, improving patient care outcomes. This blog delves into the fundamentals, clinical significance, methodologies, and advancements in MPV testing, aiming to provide comprehensive insights for medical professionals and researchers alike.

What is an MPV Test? 

An MPV (Mean Platelet Volume) test is a diagnostic blood test that measures the average size of platelets in the bloodstream. Platelets are small cell fragments in the blood that help with clotting and wound healing. The MPV test provides important information about platelet production and function. Changes in MPV values can indicate various health conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory disorders, and bone marrow abnormalities. By analyzing MPV values, healthcare professionals can diagnose and monitor these conditions, guiding appropriate treatment strategies to improve patient outcomes.

Goals of MPV Testing

The primary goals of MPV testing revolve around assessing platelet function and identifying potential health conditions. By measuring the average size of platelets in the bloodstream, MPV testing aims to provide insights into platelet production, activation, and functionality. This diagnostic tool helps healthcare professionals in detecting abnormalities such as thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), thrombocytosis (high platelet count), and various platelet disorders. Additionally, MPV testing aids in evaluating risks associated with cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory conditions, and bone marrow disorders, guiding appropriate medical interventions and improving patient care outcomes.

patient getting a blood test

When Will a Doctor Order an MPV Test?

Doctors typically order an MPV test when they suspect or need to evaluate certain health conditions related to platelet function and blood clotting. This test is commonly ordered in cases where there is a suspicion of bleeding disorders, thrombotic events (like blood clots), or when monitoring certain medical treatments that can affect platelet production or activity. Additionally, an MPV test may be part of a routine blood panel to assess overall blood health and screen for underlying conditions such as cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disorders, and bone marrow abnormalities.

Health Conditions Detected by MPV Tests

MPV (Mean Platelet Volume) tests can help detect or provide insights into various health conditions, including:

Cardiovascular Diseases

Changes in MPV values may indicate an increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks or strokes. Higher MPV levels can suggest platelet activation and aggregation, contributing to clot formation in blood vessels.

Inflammatory Disorders

In conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, MPV levels can be elevated due to increased platelet production and activity associated with inflammation.


This condition is characterized by a low platelet count in the blood, which can lead to increased bleeding risk. MPV testing can help assess platelet size and function in such cases.


Conversely, thrombocytosis involves an abnormally high MPV or platelet count, which may indicate underlying conditions such as infections, chronic inflammation, or certain cancers. MPV testing can aid in evaluating platelet function in these cases.

Bone Marrow Disorders

MPV testing is valuable in diagnosing and monitoring bone marrow disorders like myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and leukemia, where abnormal platelet production and morphology can be observed.

Cardiovascular Risk Assessment

MPV levels are used as biomarkers to assess the risk of cardiovascular events and can complement traditional risk factors such as cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

Other Conditions

MPV testing may also be part of evaluating conditions such as sepsis, preeclampsia (during pregnancy), and certain autoimmune disorders, where platelet function and activity play critical roles in disease progression and management. 

These conditions highlight the diverse utility of MPV testing in clinical practice, aiding in diagnosis and the ongoing monitoring of patient health.

How to Prepare for an MPV Test

MPV tests typically involve minimal preparation. It’s advisable to inform your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking, as certain drugs can influence platelet function and test results. Unless instructed otherwise by your doctor, no fasting or dietary restrictions are necessary before the test. Ensure you are well-hydrated, as this can make it easier for the technician to draw blood. If you have a fear of needles or experience anxiety related to blood tests, informing the healthcare provider beforehand can help them provide the necessary support. Following these simple guidelines can contribute to a smooth and accurate MPV test experience.

What to Expect During an MPV Blood Test

During an MPV test, patients can expect a straightforward and routine blood draw procedure, similar to other blood tests. A healthcare professional will typically clean the area where blood will be drawn, usually from a vein in the arm, and then insert a needle to collect a small sample of blood into a tube. This process is quick and causes minimal discomfort for most individuals, although some may experience a brief pinch or sting. After the blood is collected, the needle is removed, and pressure is applied to the site to stop any bleeding. The blood sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis, where the MPV value is measured to provide insights into platelet size and function. Patients can typically resume their normal activities immediately after the test.

doctor reviewing MPV results

Reading MPV Blood Test Results

Interpreting MPV test results involves understanding the numerical value obtained from the laboratory analysis of a blood sample. A higher MPV value often indicates larger platelets, which can suggest increased platelet activation and potential risk for clotting disorders or cardiovascular events. Conversely, a lower MPV value may indicate smaller platelets and could be associated with conditions like thrombocytopenia or certain bone marrow disorders. The interpretation of MPV results is context-dependent and should be correlated with clinical symptoms, other laboratory findings, and medical history to accurately diagnose and manage underlying health conditions. Consulting with a healthcare provider or hematologist is essential for a comprehensive understanding of MPV test results and their implications for individual health.

What Factors Affect Testing?

Several factors can influence MPV testing results. Medications such as aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and anticoagulants can alter platelet function and affect MPV values. Additionally, certain medical conditions like cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory disorders, and bone marrow abnormalities can impact platelet size and activity, thereby affecting MPV measurements. Age and gender also play a role, as MPV levels can vary with age and hormonal differences. Technical factors such as the method of blood collection and analysis can also contribute to variations in MPV results. To ensure accurate interpretation of MPV test results, healthcare providers consider these factors alongside clinical history and other laboratory findings.

medical lab testing blood

MPV Testing with OnPoint Lab

Now that you know the answer to the question, “What is MPV lab testing?” you can be confident that it serves as a valuable tool in diagnosing and monitoring various health conditions related to platelet function and blood clotting. By measuring the average size of platelets in the bloodstream, MPV testing provides crucial insights into cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory disorders, bone marrow abnormalities, and more. Understanding MPV values helps healthcare professionals tailor appropriate treatments and interventions, ultimately improving patient outcomes. As medical research continues to advance, MPV testing remains integral in enhancing our understanding of platelet biology and its implications for overall health. Continued exploration and utilization of MPV testing promise to further refine diagnostic accuracy and therapeutic strategies in clinical practice.

Patients in the Sugar Land and Houston areas can conveniently obtain their MPV tests through OnPoint Lab, a trusted provider of comprehensive laboratory services. OnPoint Lab offers state-of-the-art diagnostic testing with a commitment to accuracy and timely results. Scheduling an appointment is easy, with options for walk-ins and online booking available to accommodate busy schedules. To ensure optimal health and receive expert analysis of MPV and other crucial blood parameters, visit OnPoint Lab today. Take control of your health—schedule your MPV test with OnPoint Lab now and experience exceptional care and service.

OnPoint Lab

OnPoint Lab


OnPoint was started by a group of professionals that include physicians, scientists, and healthcare management professionals. In addition, our partnership includes a pathologist who is a well-known professor at a prominent medical school in New York. We have physicians who are leaders in their communities and are a great resource for our lab. We strive to be your solution for all lab testing needs. We provide accurate and timely results for hospitals, clinics, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, home health services, and hospitalists across the southern region of the United States.