A healthy result should fall into the range 32 - 35 g/dL, 19.90 - 21.77 mmol/L, or 320.00 - 350.00 g/L.
Although closely related, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) and mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) are distinct measurements. While MCH represents the average amount of hemoglobin in a single red blood cell, MCHC reflects the hemoglobin concentration in a given unit of packed red blood cells. As with MCV and MCH, calculating the MCHC can help healthcare professionals better assess anemia and other blood disorders.
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Low values are usually accociated with:
- Acute or chronic bleeding due to menstruation, physical trauma, surgery, or ulcers, for example
- Decreased oxygen availability
- Deficiency in copper or vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
- Hemolytic anemia
- Iron-deficiency anemia
- Kidney failure
- Lead poisoning
- Removal of the spleen (splenectomy)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sickle cell anemia
Low MCHC is not always a cause for concern. Your doctor will evaluate all of your CBC test results in order to make a clear determination about what is causing your abnormal value.
In general, the possible reasons for a high MCHC are consistent with those of high MCV and MCH. However, a type of hereditary hemolytic anemia called spherocytosis has been associated with high MCHC. Anemia caused by a deficiency of vitamin B12 or folic acid is also known to cause high values. Other causes of high MCHC include:
- Certain medications, such as anticonvulsant drugs
- Hemolytic anemia
- Hereditary anemia
- Intestinal disturbances and malabsorption issues
- Liver disease
- Megaloblastic anemia
MCHC may also be higher in pregnant women, but values usually return to normal after giving birth.
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