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Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin

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Updated December 08, 2011

Definition: Mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) is the average amount of hemoglobin per red blood cell in a blood sample. MCH is used to help diagnose the type (cause) and severity of anemia. When MCH is low, this can mean a person has iron-deficiency anemia. This type of anemia can be caused by insufficient iron in the diet or by blood loss. Blood loss, such as what might occur with tumors in the colon and other parts of gastrointestinal tract, can cause low iron levels and a low MCHC.

High MCH levels may indicate the presence of macrocytic anemia and can have a variety of causes, including liver disease, and deficiencies of vitamin B12 and folic acid (folate). MCH is part of a Complete Blood Count (CBC) test.

Pronunciation: meen cor-pus-cue-ler heem-oh-globe-in
Also Known As: MCH, RBC indices
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