Would you like to know what lab results mean? Medical Tests Analyzer Software will explain and clarify your lab test report.
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) is a measurement of the average hemoglobin concentration inside a red cell. The hemoglobin level is the amount of hemoglobin in a blood sample while the hematocrit is the ratio of the sample of red cells to the volume of whole blood.
Low MCHC value, called hypochromia, is present in health conditions when the hemoglobin is abnormally attenuated inside the red blood cells, including iron deficiency anemia and in thalassemia. This may occur in strongly recuperative anemia, when a low amount of reticulocytes with low Hb (Hemoglobin) content "pull" the average value down and an elevated MCV would be expected under this scenario. Decreased MCHC may also occur in iron deficiency anemia, when microcytic hypochromic red cells are created as a result of the iron deficiency to support hemoglobin production.
High MCHC value, called hyperchromia, is present in health conditions when the hemoglobin is abnormally condensed inside the red blood cells, including burn patients and hereditary spherocytosis, a comparatively rare congenital disease. Very high MCHC test values are not physiologically possible because of limitations on the Hemoglobin dissolubility. However, sample-related issues of analysis may result in false elevated values. Lipemia or other causes of turbidity in the lysate can cause falsely high [Hb] values that elevate the evident MCHC. Moreover, hemolysis can cause lower the HCT and high the MCHC.
MCHC test is ordered as a portion of a standard complete blood count. MCHC value is a result of dividing the hemoglobin by the hematocrit and present as a mass or molar concentration. Many labs still calculate MCHC value in percentage (%), as if it was a mass fraction. But numerically the MCHC in g/dl and the mass fraction of hemoglobin in red blood cells in % are identical, assuming a RBC density of 1g/mL and negligible hemoglobin in plasma.
MCHC is reduced ("hypochromic") in microcytic anemia, and normal ("normochromic") in macrocytic anemia (as a result of larger cell size, though the hemoglobin quantity or MCH is increased, the value remains normal). MCHC is high ("hyperchromic") in hereditary spherocytosis, sickle cell disorder and homozygous hemoglobin C disorder.
All information on this page is intended for your general knowledge only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.