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Concept: Red blood cell distribution width


Red cell distribution width (RDW) is a parameter of the standard full blood count tests, measuring the size variability of erythrocytes. Recently, its elevation has been proven to reliably reflect the extent systematic inflammation, mainly in cardiometabolic diseases. Up to date, its association with solid malignancies has been scarcely investigated.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Anemia, Complete blood count, Mean corpuscular volume, Red blood cell distribution width


Red cell distribution width (RDW) is associated with mortality in both the general population and in patients with certain diseases. However, the relationship between RDW and mortality in patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association of RDW with mortality in patients with CAP.

Concepts: Medical terms, Pneumonia, Demography, The Association, Red blood cell distribution width


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Red cell distribution width (RDW) is a quantitative measure of the variability in size of erythrocytes, and it is used for the differential diagnosis of anemia. Recent reports have suggested that high RDW could play a role for risk stratification in patients with chronic heart failure. However, the prognostic role of RDW in unselected population with acute heart failure (AHF), after a thoroughly multivariate adjustment, has not been well established. The aim of this study was to establish the association between RDW and long-term mortality in patients admitted for AHF. PATIENTS AND METHOD: We analyzed 1,190 consecutive patients admitted for AHF in our center. RDW measurement was performed on admission. RDW values were stratified into quartiles (Q) and the association of RDW with total mortality was assessed using Cox regression. RESULTS: After a median follow-up of 15 months (interquartile range 3-33 months) 458 (38%) deaths were identified. There was a progressive increase in mortality rates from Q1 to Q4: 1.34, 1.82, 2.56 and 3.53 per 10 patients-year of follow-up (for Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 respectively, P for trend <.001). In the multivariate analysis, this association remained independent for patients in Q3 (15-16%) and Q4 (>16%) versus Q1 (≤14%), hazard ratio (HR): 1.66, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.24-2.22, P<.01, HR: 1.80, 95% CI 1.33-2.43, p<.01, respectively, in a model adjusted for established prognostic markers in AHF. CONCLUSION: In patients with AHF, higher RDW values were associated with increased long-term mortality.

Concepts: Medical terms, Heart failure, Measurement, Median, Interquartile range, Anemia, Medical diagnosis, Red blood cell distribution width


Preoperative anemia and high red cell distribution width (RDW) are associated with higher perioperative mortality. Conditions with high RDW levels can be categorized by mean corpuscular volume (MCV). The relationship between RDW, anemia and MCV may explain causality between high RDW levels and outcomes. We aim to establish the prevalence of preoperative anemia and distribution of RDW and MCV among pre-surgical patients in Singapore. In addition, we aim to investigate the association between preoperative anemia, RDW and MCV levels with one-year mortality after surgery.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Surgery, Anemia, Hematology, ASA physical status classification system, Complete blood count, Mean corpuscular volume, Red blood cell distribution width


The normal range of red cell distribution width (RDW) level is <15%. Several studies have indicated that a high RDW level was associated with mortality in critically ill patients, and the patients with a high RDW level need increased focus in clinical practice. In view of the difficulty in defining the specific value of high RDW level, the key is to focus on the patient with the level beyond the normal upper limit. This study aimed to determine whether dynamic change of RDW levels, rather than the level itself, is predictive of death in elderly patients with septic shock when RDW level is beyond 15%.

Concepts: Death, Patient, Hospital, Illness, Patience, Normal distribution, Septic shock, Red blood cell distribution width


The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate the relationship between the Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW) and prognosis in upper aerodigestive tract (UADT) cancer.

Concepts: Lung cancer, Systematic review, Prognosis, Meta-analysis, Red blood cell distribution width


Increased red cell distribution width (RDW) is associated with poorer outcomes in various patient populations. We investigated the association between preoperative RDW and anaemia on 30-day postoperative mortality among elderly patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery. Medical records of 24,579 patients aged 65 and older who underwent surgery under anaesthesia between 1 January 2012 and 31 October 2016 were retrospectively analysed. Patients who died within 30 days had higher median RDW (15.0%) than those who were alive (13.4%). Based on multivariate logistic regression, in our cohort of elderly patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery, moderate/severe preoperative anaemia (aOR 1.61, p = 0.04) and high preoperative RDW levels in the 3rd quartile (>13.4% and ≤14.3%) and 4th quartile (>14.3%) were significantly associated with increased odds of 30-day mortality - (aOR 2.12, p = 0.02) and (aOR 2.85, p = 0.001) respectively, after adjusting for the effects of transfusion, surgical severity, priority of surgery, and comorbidities. Patients with high RDW, defined as >15.7% (90th centile), and preoperative anaemia have higher odds of 30-day mortality compared to patients with anaemia and normal RDW. Thus, preoperative RDW independently increases risk of 30-day postoperative mortality, and future risk stratification strategies should include RDW as a factor.

Concepts: Death, Surgery, Percentile, Median, Anemia, Complete blood count, Mean corpuscular volume, Red blood cell distribution width


This study aims to detect whether there remains valuable prognostic information in fluctuation of red cell distribution width (RDW) in hip fracture patients. Results show that this readily available parameter may provide a more effective strategy for assessment of mortality risk, therefore providing a reference for clinical planning and decision-making.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Clinical trial, Bone fracture, Hospital, Risk, Red blood cell distribution width


The red cell distribution width (RDW) predicts mortality in numerous populations. The Intermountain Risk Scores (IMRS) predict patient outcomes using laboratory measurements including RDW. Whether the RDW or IMRS predicts in-hospital outcomes is unknown.

Concepts: Risk, Decision theory, Uncertainty, Red blood cell distribution width


Red cell distribution width (RDW) is a standard component of the automated blood count, and is of prognostic value in heart failure and coronary heart disease. We investigated the association between RDW and cardiovascular events in patients with adult congenital heart disease (ACHD).

Concepts: Blood, Heart, Blood vessel, Heart disease, Anemia, Complete blood count, Mean corpuscular volume, Red blood cell distribution width