What is MCHC in Blood Test?
MCHC blood test full form is ” Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration “. This test usually is a part of a complete blood count (CBC) test. MCHC measures the average concentration of hemoglobin in each red blood cell (RBC). Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cell(RBC) that helps to carry oxygen in different parts of our body. So just like the MCV blood test and MCH blood test, the MCHC blood test is also a helpful guide in various medical conditions. MCHC can be low, high or normal, even if your red blood cell count is normal.
MCHC Blood Test Purpose
Generally, MCHC test is done as a part of a complete blood count test (CBC). The purpose of MCHC blood tests are
- To determine the overall health condition
- To evaluate the severity of the medical condition
- To differentiate different medical conditions
- To monitor your medical condition after its diagnosis
- To observe the response of your ongoing treatment
- To determine the effectiveness of your ongoing treatment
MCHC blood test value is a part of red blood cell assessment.
MCHC Blood Test Importance
Through the test result of MCHC, it becomes easy to determine the cause of your anemia and the type of anemia you have. So the treatment that will be best suited for you can be given.
An abnormal level of MCHC indicates some underlying health issues. So MCHC helps to prevent future health related complications.
MCHC helps to resolve present health conditions by helping to determine the cause accurately. So it helps to resolve health problem related risks.
MCHC Blood Test Process
MCHC Blood Test Normal Range
The normal range of MCHC in an adult is 33.4-35.5 gm/dL.
When the MCHC value is below 33.4 grams per dL, you have low MCHC. If your MCHC value is more than 35.5 grams per dL, then you have high MCHC.
MCHC Blood Test Low Level
The symptoms of low MCHC are related to anemia. The symptoms are
- Loss of stamina
- Breathlessness or shortness of breath
- Pale skin etc.
People who have recently developed low MCHC may not show any symptoms.
Cause of low MCHC :
The most common cause of low MCHC is iron deficiency anemia.
Other causes of low MCHC are the following
- Hypochromic microcytic anemia
- Lack of iron
- The inability of the body to absorb iron
- Chronic blood loss (such as due to prolonged menstruation)
- Premature destruction of red blood cells (hemolysis)
- Cancers (usually the cancers that cause internal blood loss)
- Parasitic infections (such as hookworm infections)
- Lead poisoning
Low MCHC can cause loss of stamina, so it limits your daily activities. If MCHC is very low, the body can not get adequate oxygen, and anemic hypoxia can occur. The symptoms of anemic hypoxia are- Rapid breathing, shortness of breath, fast heart rate, confusion, etc.
Treatment of low MCHC:
If your low MCHC is due to iron deficiency anemia, adding iron rich foods in a daily diet and iron supplements is helpful. You can take vitamin C and vitamin B6 additionally to increase iron absorption. If your low MCHC is due to other reasons as mentioned above, then treatment of the cause that is responsible for low MCHC is very important.
MCHC Blood Test High Level
High MCHC means the hemoglobin is more concentrated inside red blood cells (RBC). It can occur in medical conditions where red blood cells are easily fragile, or if the red blood cells are destroyed, then the hemoglobin comes outside the cell and present there. The medical conditions where high MCHC is usually found are
- Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
- Hereditary spherocytosis
- Sickle cell anemia
- Severe burns (can cause hemolytic anemia and, as a result, high MCHC)
- Macrocytic anemia (such as in vitamin B12 deficiency)
- Liver disease
- Drugs like chemotherapy drugs or immunosuppressive drugs.
Treatment of high MCHC:
Treatment depends upon the cause. If the reason for high MCHC is Autoimmune hemolytic anemia, then corticosteroids such as prednisone are the first line of treatment. If high MCHC is due to severe destruction of red blood cells, then blood transfusion is the treatment of choice. Sometimes removal of the spleen (splenectomy) may be needed.
If the cause of high MCHC is hereditary spherocytosis, then taking food rich in folic acid or folic acid supplements are helpful. Because folic acid helps to produce red blood cells. If the condition is severe, then blood transfusion or removal of the spleen (splenectomy) may be necessary. Sometimes removal of the gallbladder is needed.
If high MCHC is due to severe burns, a blood transfusion may be needed depending on the condition.
If the cause of high MCHC is due to macrocytic anemia, then foods rich in vitamin B12 and folic acid are helpful. One can also take the supplements additionally.
If the cause of high MCHC is due to liver disease or thyroid problems, then treating those conditions are essential.