Would you like to know what lab results mean? Medical Tests Analyzer Software will explain and clarify your lab test report.

This is measurement related to red blood cells (RBCs) and is part of the Complete Blood Count (CBC), a frequently requested test ordered for a variety of health conditions.

The mean corpuscular hemoglobin, also known as "mean cell hemoglobin" (MCH), is the average mass of hemoglobin per red blood cell in a sample of blood. MCH test is ordered as portion of a standard complete blood count. MCH value is reduced in hypochromic anemia.
The value is a result of dividing the total mass of hemoglobin by the number of red blood cells in a blood sample.
Macrocytic RBCs are large so tend to have an increased MCH, while microcytic red blood cells would have a reduced value.

Test Results

The MCH value is high if RBCs are abnormally larger (macrocytic), for example in anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. If hemolytic anemia is present, presence of reticulocytes may elevate MCH. An increased MCH is also associated with alcoholism (as are an elevated GGT and a ratio of AST:ALT of 2:1). Vitamin B12 and/or Folic Acid deficiency has also been associated with macrocytic anemia (high MCH numbers).

When the MCH is lowered, RBCs are abnormally smaller (microcytic) as is seen in iron deficiency anemia or thalassemia.
The general causes of microcytic anemia are iron deficiency (due to inadequate nutrition, gastrointestinal blood loss, or menstrual blood loss), thalassemia, or chronic disorder.
A low MCH number in a patient with a positive stool guaiac test (bloody stool) is highly suggestive of gastrointestinal cancer.
In iron deficiency anemia (microcytic anemia), MCH may be decreased. In cases of thalassemia, the MCH may be low even though the patient is not iron deficient.

All information on this page is intended for your general knowledge only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.