Hematocrit (Ht, Hct, Packed Cell Volume, PCV)
Hematocrit is the ratio of the volume of red blood cells to the volume of blood plasma.
Hematocrit levels may help determine the severity of anemia which may cause them to drop down to 15-25%. Hematocrit levels should not be measured after hemotransfusion or blood loss as they may be the cause of a falsely increased or decreased hematocrit level.
Elevated hematocrit levels may be caused by dehydration, high red blood cell count, etc.
Low hematocrit levels may be caused by blood loss, anemia, increased destruction of red blood cells, or pregnancy.
Slightly decreased hematocrit values are normal during pregnancy due to an uneven increase in the blood volume and red blood cell numbers.