MCH Hematology Test

Submitted by Nic on November 9, 2012

A MCH hematology test is a test that is carried out to diagnose the average amount of hemoglobin in the red blood cells. The term MCH in MCH hematology test stands for Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin. A MCH hematology test determines the average amount of hemoglobin in a red blood cell or erythrocyte. Hemoglobin is the oxygen carrying element in red blood cells.

What is a MCH Hematology Test?

A MCH hematology test or a MCH hematology blood test is usually part of a CBC or Complete Blood Test. This CBC or Hema Profile blood test consists of two parts - a blood smear and a machine panel. In the former, a thin smear of blood is applied to glass slide and this is examined under a microscope to assess and record the nature of the cells. In the latter, an instrument measures the size and other characteristics of the blood cells. Parameters, other than MCH which are measured in such tests include:-

  • WBC White Blood Count - this counts the number of white blood cells per liter of blood.
  • Hemoglobin - the total amount of hemoglobin in the blood.
  • MCV (Mean Corpuscular Volume) - this is an indication of the size of the red cells.
  • MCHC (Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration) - this is the amount of hemoglobin per liter of fluid in each cell.
  • Hematocrit - The total volume of red blood cells in the blood.
  • Platelets
  • Lymphocytes - these are the circulating immune response cells.
  • RBC Red Cell Count - This counts the number of red blood cells per liter of blood.

Purpose Behind Conducting This Test

The main purpose behind conducting a MCH blood test is to see the hemoglobin content in the red blood cells. Interpreting the results of such a blood test is fairly simple. Keep in mind that MCH is expressed in unit pictograms or pg. The pg number denotes the content of hemoglobin in one cell. MCH hematology values are regarded as normal if they lie in the range of 27-33 pg. If the MCH levels are greater than 33 pg, it could be indicative of thyroid problems. A deficiency of iron could lead to the readings being less than 27pg. Remember that MCH is not as accurate as MCHC in diagnosing severe anemia. This is due to MCH using the red blood cells in its calculations. An increase in MCH is generally linked to macrocytic anemia and likewise, a decrease in MCH is generally linked to microcytic anemia.

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