Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin Concentration (MCHC)

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

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.

MCHC stands for mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration.

MCHC is part of the red cell indices, together with MCH and MCV. Those parameters reflect the size and hemoglobin content of red cells.

They have traditionally been used to aid in the differential diagnosis of anemia.

The mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) is the average concentration of hemoglobin in red blood cells.

MCHC is the average concentration of hemoglobin in a given volume of packed red blood cells, or in other words, the ratio of hemoglobin mass to the volume of red cells.

What are red blood cells?

Red blood cells play an important role in your health by carrying fresh oxygen throughout the body.

Calculation of MCHC:

MCHC is not measured directly but is calculated from the hemoglobin (Hb) and hematocrit (Hct) concentrations:

MCHC = Hb (in g/dL)/Hct (%)

What is Hemoglobin?

Hemoglobin is the protein molecule that allows red blood cells to carry oxygen to tissues within your body.

What is Hematocrit?

A hematocrit test measures how much of your blood is made up of red blood cells. Hematocrit is the ratio of the volume of red blood cells to the total volume of blood. Your blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets

Difference between MCHC and MCH:

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 you assess anemia and other blood disorders.

Note on errors in hemoglobin concentration and red cell indices:

Errors can occur in automated measurements of the Hb and red cell indices. Such erroneous results are usually suspected from a markedly elevated MCV, a markedly abnormal MCHC or a discrepancy between MCHC and MCH. Such errors can be caused by poorly mixed specimen, marked elevations in lipid levels, or raised WBCs among other things.

Your MCHC can fall into low, normal, and high ranges even if your red blood cell count is normal.

  • Low MCHC: Hypochromic
  • Normal MCHC: Normochromic
  • High MCHC: Hyperchromic

The MCHC basically tells you whether your red blood cells have more or less hemoglobin than what would be expected.

More about MCHC and anemia:

An example of a type of anemia that exhibits normochromic is pernicious anemia, which is caused by a lack of vitamin B12 in the body. An MCHC result below 32 means that the red blood cells contain less than the normal concentration of hemoglobin or are hypochromic, a condition that occurs with iron-deficiency anemia and thalassemia. Because there is a physical limit to the amount of hemoglobin that can fit into an RBC, an MCHC level above 35 is rare.


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