Mean cell haemoglobin

Keywords: MCH

Specimen:

5 mL blood in EDTA tube.

Method:

Part of Full blood count; calculated by automated and semi-automated instruments (less accurate if based on manual methods).

Arithmetically, MCH is Hb divided by RCC.

Reference Interval:

Some variation with method. Refer to laboratory.

Child:

< 3 months: 24-34 pg

< 1 year: 23-31 pg

3-12 years: 24-30 pg

Adult: 27-32 pg

Application:

Guide to investigation of anaemia; blood film should also be requested.

Interpretation:

The MCH is increased in macrocytic anaemias, decreased in microcytic anaemias.

A blood film should also be requested.

Reference:

Bain BJBlood cells: a practical guide. 4th Ed. 2007. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.