What Is MCHC In Blood Test?

Submitted by Nic on October 17, 2012

A MCHC test is a test that is carried out to test a person for anemia. The MCHC in a MCHC test stands for Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration. MCHC is the calculation of the average hemoglobin inside a red blood cell. A MCHC test can be performed along with a MCV test (Mean Corpuscular Volume). Both levels are used to test people for anemia. The MCHC test is also known as the MCH blood test which tests the levels of hemoglobin in the blood.

The MCHC test can be ordered as part of a complete blood count (CBC) test. Other components of the CBC test include White Blood Cell Count (WBC), Red Blood Cell Count (RBC), Platelet Count, Hemoglobin, MCV, Hematocrit and White Blood Cell Differential. Keep in mind that MCHC results will be different for children and for babies. If the MCHC test results are high or low it often indicates a problem. If the levels fall between the normal range, the person does not have to worry about being anemic. However, a low MCHC count does not provide a doctor with enough information to make a correct diagnosis. Other tests may also be recommended in such cases to help the doctor make a specific diagnosis and for the correct treatment to be started. A low MCHC count may indicate anemia but several other factors will have to be taken into consideration before coming to this conclusion. MCHC is measured in grams per deciliter. Normal readings for MCHC are 31 grams per deciliter to 35 grams per deciliter.

A MCHC blood test may be ordered when a person is showing signs of fatigue or weakness, when there is an infection, is bleeding or bruising easily or when there is an inflammation. As mentioned earlier, this test is a blood test and therefore blood is taken from a vein in the person's hand or arm. If MCHC test results are high or elevated, chances are that the person is suffering from macrocytic anemia. Folic acid deficiency, liver disease, hereditary spherocytes, or a vitamin B12 deficiency could be responsible for this kind of anemia. Elevated levels may also appear in burn patients. If MCHC levels are low, the person may be suffering from iron deficiency anemia or thalassemia. Further investigations will be carried out in such case to see whether the person has a problem absorbing iron, if the person has internal bleeding, any gastrointestinal tract tumors or even if the person has a condition which prevents the absorption of iron.

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