To the Editor: Because the mean corpuscular
volume (MCV) of red blood cells may be elevated in as many as 89% of patients
with chronic alcohol use1 this test is often
used as a marker of ongoing alcohol abuse.2
It is not known, however, whether the MCV returns to normal after cessation
of chronic alcohol use.
A, Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) values of abstinent alcoholics compared
with those of healthy controls. Reference range (dotted lines), 81-95 fL.
B, γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) activity of abstinent alcoholics throughout
abstinence compared with that of healthy controls. Reference range (dotted
lines), <29 U/L.
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