Mean cell haemoglobin (MCH)

Last updated: Friday, 02, April, 2004

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Item Process
Specimen

5 mL blood in EDTA tube.

Method

Part of FBC; 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.

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 BJ. Blood Cells - a Practical Guide. 2nd ed. Blackwell Science 1995.