Red Cell Distribution Width as a Biomarker for Heart Failure: Still Not Ready for Prime-Time

Sunil K. Nadar*, Mohammad Mujtaba Shaikh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We would like to thank García-Escobar and Ingelmo for their letter regarding our article on the use of biomarkers in routine clinical care for heart failure.1,2 It was with interest that we read their comments on the use of red cell volume distribution width (RDW) as another biomarker for use in the management of patients with heart failure. As mentioned in their letter, RDW is a measure of heterogeneity of red blood cell (RBC) volume or anisocytosis and not a measure of RBC size or volume itself.3 RDW is a number generated by automated blood count machines. Increased variations in RBC volume – that is, a high RDW, is seen in anaemic states (such as iron deficiency anaemia, sickle cell anaemia, thalassaemia and megaloblastic anaemia), in patients using chemotherapeutic agents, in cardiovascular disease, thyroid disease and myelodysplastic syndromes.3

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-181
Number of pages2
JournalCardiac Failure Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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