The principal physiological function of platelets is to promote haemostasis but they also contribute to thrombosis and atherogenesis. Platelet volume is a marker and possibly a determinant of platelet function in that large platelets are more active than normal sized platelets. Mean platelet volume (MPV), a measure of platelet size, reflects changes in either the level of platelet stimulation or the rate of platelet production. For these reasons, we have developed a sensitive instrument to measure platelet volume, which we believe is more reliable and specific than previously used instruments. It is based on a computer-interfaced Coulter Thrombocytometer and a pulse analyser including a high-speed baseline restorer. We have developed a reproducible method to assay MPV and from the histogram derived the median (MED) and the skewness (SK) values. We have looked at the effects of anticoagulant used and time elapse prior to assay. A normal range has been established for MPV which correlates directly with MED and inversely with SK. The MPV decreases with age but there is no difference between genders. We have demonstrated a negative correlation between whole blood platelet number and MPV and MED, and a direct relationship with the SK of the histogram of the platelet volume.