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Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) - description and reference ranges

What is it?

Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) measures the average concentration of haemoglobin in all of your red blood cells. It is similar to the MCH value and is another view onto the haemoglobin ratios.

This represents a very subtle changes in the full blood count. Abnormalities in this biomarker are not unusual and do not normally represent any significant problem when there is no major abnormality of the other biomarkers.

Reference ranges

If your indicative MCHC count is lower than the reference range for our laboratory:

Similarly to lower MCH, MCHC would indicate an iron deficiency anemia.

Haemoglobin requires Iron in the process of production and if you are seeing a lower value of MCHC it is usually because your diet is low in iron. It could also be low after a surgery, blood loss or trauma.

It could also mean that a low MCHC is caused by a generally low number of red blood cells in the blood. You can see your RBC count as part of these results, perhaps the production of haemoglobin is limited, hence the lower MCHC.

Generally, symptoms of rapid heartbeat, fatigue and weakness, paleness and headache, as well as chest pains and shortness of breath go together with the lower MCH readings. We would suggest speaking to your GP if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

If your indicative MCHC count is higher than the reference range for our laboratory:

Similarly to higher MCH, MCHC would indicate anemia due to a deficiency of B vitamins. In particular, lack of B12 and folate are generally responsible for this. Both are required for the production of red blood cells, so if your diet is low in B12 or your body is struggling to absorb B12/folate in order to use it for red cell production.

Shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, tiredness, pale skina and headache are typical symptoms of vitamin defficiency. More severe symptoms can include nausea, diarhoea as well as depression and confusion.

If your MCHC is high, we suggest speaking to your GP about the need for further investigations to find the cause of high MCHC.

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