Last updated on 16th Oct 2021 - By Dwayne Michaels

How Abnormal HEMATOCRIT affects heart?

Congenital heart disease, Dehydration, Lung disease and Polycythemia vera are some of the reasons why your hematocrit levels are too high.

Blood test

Hematocrit is a blood test that measures how much of a person's blood is made up of red blood cells. This measurement depends on the number of and size of the red blood cells.

Hematocrit can vary from the determining factors of the number of red blood cells. These factors can be from the age and sex of the subject. Typically, a higher hematocrit level signifies the blood sample's ability to transport oxygen, which has led to reports that an "optimal hematocrit level" may exist.

Consult a doctor

Optimal hematocrit levels have been studied through combinations of assays on blood sample's hematocrit itself, viscosity, and hemoglobin level.

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Hematocrit levels also serve as an indicator of health conditions. Thus, tests on hematocrit levels are often carried out in the process of diagnosis of such conditions, and may be conducted prior to surgery.

Additionally, the health conditions associated with certain hematocrit levels are the same as ones associated with certain hemoglobin levels. As blood flows from the arterioles into the capillaries, a change in pressure occurs.

In order to maintain pressure, the capillaries branch off to a web of vessels that carry blood into the venules. Through this process blood undergoes micro-circulation.

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In micro-circulation, the Fåhræus effect will take place, resulting in a large change in hematocrit. As blood flows through the arterioles, red cells will act a feed hematocrit, while in the capillaries, a tube hematocrit occurs. In tube hematocrit, plasma fills most of the vessel while the red cells travel through in somewhat of a single file line.

From this stage, blood will enter the venules increasing in hematocrit, in other words the discharge hematocrit.In large vessels with low hematocrit, viscosity dramatically drops and red cells take in a lot of energy. While in smaller vessels at the micro-circulation scale, viscosity is very high.

With the increase in shear stress at the wall, a lot of energy is used to move cells.

In cases of dengue fever, a high hematocrit is a danger sign of an increased risk of dengue shock syndrome. Hemoconcentration can be detected by an escalation of over 20% in hematocrit levels that will come before shock.

For early detection of dengue hemorrhagic fever, it is suggested that hematocrit levels be kept under observations at a minimum of every 24 hours; 3–4 hours is suggested in suspected dengue shock syndrome or critical cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Decreased hematocrit levels could indicate life-threatening diseases such as leukemia. When the bone marrow no longer produces normal red blood cells, hematocrit levels deviate from normal as well and thus can possibly be used in detecting acute myeloid leukemia.

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It can also be related to other conditions, such as malnutrition, water intoxication, anemia, and bleeding. A low hematocrit level is a sign of a low red blood cell count.

One way to increase the ability of oxygen transport in red blood cells is through blood transfusion, which is carried out typically when the red blood cell count is low. Prior to the blood transfusion, hematocrit levels are measured to help ensure the transfusion is necessary and safe.

There is little risk involved with having your blood taken.Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.


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