Blood status 575


What is MCH?



MCH, or mean corpuscular hemoglobin, is a measurement of the average amount of hemoglobin in each red blood cell, estimating how well the tissues and organs are being oxygenated. Hemoglobin is a protein that transports oxygen from the lungs to organs and tissues, and brings carbon dioxide back to the lungs where it can be exhaled.

MCH as a biomarker is often included in a panel of tests evaluating various characteristics of red blood cells, vital for overall health.

Normal MCH levels indicate an effective oxygen transport to organs and other tissues.

The purpose of a mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) test is to measure the amount of hemoglobin in red blood cells. This, in turn, can provide important estimates on how well the tissues and organs in the body are being oxygenated.

Measuring MCH can help identify and diagnose various types of deficiencies in red blood cells or hemoglobin, also known as anemia. MCH is also used to monitor the progress of condition or treatment, as well as it can provide information about nutritional status and overall health.



Low levels of MCH



Low MCH levels indicates that there is less hemoglobin in each red blood cell than usual. The most common underlying cause of reduced MCH levels is iron deficiency anemia. As the name suggests, this condition comes from a lack of iron, making it difficult to produce enough hemoglobin.

Some of the general causes of iron deficiency include eating a diet that is low in iron or blood loss through major surgery or trauma. Other conditions that may result in low MCH levels are conditions which in any way affects the production or utilization of hemoglobin.

Although rare, these conditions include a genetic disorder called thalassemia, chronic kidney disease, certain types of cancer and lead poisoning.



High levels MCH



High MCH levels indicate that there is more hemoglobin in each red blood cell than usual. One of the most common causes behind this rise is deficiency in vitamin B12 or folate.

This deficiency can lead to a condition where the red blood cells grow larger and thereby contain more hemoglobin (thus increasing the levels of MCH), also known as megaloblastic anemia.

Liver damage may cause an affected production of red blood cells, and thereby result in non-megaloblastic anemia with increased MCH levels. Indirectly, high intake of alcohol may be an underlying cause for any of the two types, since alcohol metabolism consumes high amounts of vitamin B12 and causes liver damage. Certain rare genetic disorders that affect the function and shape of hemoglobin can also increase the MCH levels.