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Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin

 
 
 
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Overview

  • The mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) are red blood cell indices which confer whether a cell is normochromic, hyperchromic or hypochromic.
  • Mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) - the average amount of haemoglobin per red blood cell
  • mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) - the average concentration of haemoglobin within red blood cells
    • Normal Range

    • MCH: 27 - 32pg
    • MCHC: 300 - 350 g/L

Hypochromia

Reduced red cell haemoglobin (MCH / MCHC), or increased central pallor on blood film.
  • Causes of Hypochromia

  • Microcytic

  • Iron deficiency anaemia
  • Anaemia of chronic disease (infection / inflammation / malignancy)
  • Thalassaemia
  • Congenital sideroblastic anaemia
  • Lead poisoning
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Macrocytic

  • Reticulocytosis

Hyperchromia

Increased red cell haemoglobin (MCH / MCHC), or reduced central pallor on blood film.
  • Significance

  • Hyperchromic cells may be spherocytes, microspherocytes, macrocytes or sickle cells.
  • Causes of Hyperchromia

  • Spherocytosis - hereditary spherocytosis, immune haemolysis, Clostridium infection
  • Microspherocytosis - microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia, severe burns
  • Macrocytosis - B12/folate deficiency chronic liver disease, alcohol abuse, hypothyroidism, post splenectomy, aplastic anaemia, myelodysplastic syndrome
  • Sickle cells - sickle cell disease
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