JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Red Blood Cell Distribution Width: A Novel Predictive Indicator for Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Diseases

Ning Li, Heng Zhou, Qizhu Tang
Disease Markers 2017, 2017: 7089493
29038615
The red blood cell distribution width (RDW) obtained from a standard complete blood count (CBC) is a convenient and inexpensive biochemical parameter representing the variability in size of circulating erythrocytes. Over the past few decades, RDW with mean corpuscular volume (MCV) has been used to identify quite a few hematological system diseases including iron-deficiency anemia and bone marrow dysfunction. In recent years, many clinical studies have proved that the alterations of RDW levels may be associated with the incidence and prognosis in many cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases (CVDs). Therefore, early detection and intervention in time of these vascular diseases is critical for delaying their progression. RDW as a new predictive marker and an independent risk factor plays a significant role in assessing the severity and progression of CVDs. However, the mechanisms of the association between RDW and the prognosis of CVDs remain unclear. In this review, we will provide an overview of the representative literatures concerning hypothetical and potential epidemiological associations between RDW and CVDs and discuss the underlying mechanisms.

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