Measurement of blood volume and red cell mass: Re-examination of 51Cr and 125I methods

Virgil F. Fairbanks, George G. Klee, Gregory A. Wiseman, James D. Hoyer, Ayalew Tefferi, Robert M. Petitt, Murray N. Silverstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Comparison of results of red cell mass (RCM) measurement by 51Cr and 125I methods in 119 patients showed virtual equivalence. Both methods have an acceptable coefficient of variation (CV) that is <5%. The 125I method is simpler and much less expensive. Unrealistically narrow 'normal ranges' for RCM are likely to lead to misdiagnosis of polycythemia vera. Upper normal limits of 39 mL/kg (males) and 32 mL/kg (females) are consistent with originally published data in normal persons; use of these limits as criteria would reduce the risk of misdiagnosis. No cases of 'stress erythrocytosis' or Gaisbock Syndrome were encountered among the 119 cases reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-186
Number of pages18
JournalBlood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1996


  • Cr
  • I-albumin
  • PCV
  • blood volume
  • erythrocytosis
  • hematocrit
  • plasma volume
  • polycythemia
  • red cell mass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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