Platelet and Red Blood Cell Volume Indices in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Angelo Zinellu, Arduino A. Mangoni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


Alterations in the volume of platelets (mean platelet volume, MPV; platelet distribution width, PDW) and erythrocytes (red blood cell distribution width, RDW) have been reported in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and might serve as diagnostic biomarkers. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the MPV, PDW, and RDW in RA patients and healthy controls. Relevant articles were searched in PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar from inception to June 2022. Risk of bias was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Checklist and certainty of evidence was assessed using GRADE. In 23 studies (2194 RA patients and 1565 healthy controls), the RDW, but not MPV or PDW, was significantly higher in RA patients (standardized mean difference, SMD = 0.96, 95% CI 0.78 to 1.15, p < 0.001; moderate certainty of evidence). The substantial heterogeneity observed (I2 = 75.1%, p < 0.001) was virtually removed in a subgroup of prospective studies. In sensitivity analysis, the magnitude of the effect size was not substantially modified by sequentially removing individual studies. There was no significant publication bias. No significant associations were observed between the effect size and pre-defined study or patient characteristics. The results of our study suggest that the RDW might be a useful biomarker for the diagnosis of RA, and complement the clinical information provided by other patient characteristics and laboratory parameters (PROSPERO registration number: CRD42022349432).

Original languageEnglish
Article number2633
Number of pages20
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Biomarkers
  • mean platelet volume
  • platelet distribution width
  • red blood cell width
  • rheumatoid arthritis


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