Red Blood Cell Count

Cleveland HeartLab B, R, Test


CPT Code: 85041
Order Code: 1379
ABN Requirement: No
Specimen: EDTA Whole Blood
Volume:  1.0 mL
Minimum Volume:  0.5 mL
Container: EDTA (Lavender Top tube)


  1. Collect and label sample according to standard protocols.
  2. Gently invert tube 8-10 times immediately after draw. DO NOT SHAKE.
  3. Do not centrifuge.

Transport: Store EDTA whole blood at 2°C to 8°C after collection and ship the same day per packaging instructions provided with the Cleveland HeartLab shipping box.


Ambient (15-25°C): Not Acceptable
Refrigerated (2-8°C):
5 days
Frozen (-20°C):
Not Acceptable
Deep Frozen (-70°C):
Not Acceptable

Causes for Rejection: Specimens other than EDTA whole blood; improper labeling; samples not stored properly; samples older than stability limits; clotted samples; grossly hemolyzed samples; samples drawn from above an IV

Methodology: Flow Cytometry

Turn Around Time:  1 to 3 days

Reference Range:

TestAge/GenderReference Range
Red Blood Cell Count0-1 month3.60-6.60 M/uL
2-6 months2.70-5.40 M/uL
7 months-2 years3.70-5.40 M/uL
3-6 years3.90-5.30 M/uL
7-12 years4.00-5.20 M/uL
13-55 years, Female3.82-5.16 M/uL
13-65 years, Male4.06-5.70 M/uL
≥56 years, Female3.46-5.52 M/uL
≥66 years, Male3.46-5.52 M/uL

Use: A red blood cell count measures the number of red blood cells, and is used to diagnose anemia and other conditions affecting red blood cells. The red blood cell count is also useful in individuals with symptoms of problems with red blood cell production, including fatigue and paleness.

Limitations: Cold agglutinins and rare warm agglutinins causes decreased RBC counts. Increased white cell counts may cause falsely elevated RBC counts.

Additional Information: A recent blood transfusion can affect red blood cell counts, as can pregnancy. Individuals who live at higher elevations may have higher red blood cell counts, and women have lower red blood cell counts than men.

The CPT codes provided are based on AMA guidelines and are for informational purposes only. CPT coding is the sole responsibility of the billing party. Please direct any questions regarding coding to the payer being billed.