This mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) calculator determines the concentration of Hb in the erythrocytes as MCHC is one of the RBC indices. There is in depth information below the form on the method used, the normal ranges of values and how to interpret the results.
How does the mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) calculator work?
This health tool calculates the average concentration of hemoglobin in the red blood cell sample and reports it in g/dL. Hb is essential for the circulation of oxygen from the lungs to the cells in the body.
MCHC, which comes from Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration, is one of the three RBC indices, alongside Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) and Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH), and comes part of the standard Complete Blood Count (CBC).
It is obtained by multiplying the amount of hemoglobin by 100 and then dividing the number to the hematocrit, which is the cellular amount in the blood.
MCHC in g/dL = (Hemoglobin in g/dL)/(Hematocrit %) x 100
The following table contains the normal range values for the parameters involved in the MCHC calculator:
|Hemoglobin||12 – 18 g/dL|
|Hematocrit||37 – 52%|
|MCHC||33.4 – 35.5 g/dL|
The MCHC range in the table is according to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, while other sources present a wider range of 32 to 36 g/dL. Some regional variations may appear due to the testing machines used in automated analysis.
Also, the 32 to 36 g/dL range can be expressed in mmol/L as 19.9 to 22.3. In some instances, MCHC can be found as a percentage, as if it were a mass fraction.
The MCHC blood test consists in a sample of whole blood, collected by venipuncture. The whole operation is simple, a needle is gently inserted in one of the arm veins usually and the blood content is collected in a tube. Minor discomfort is felt in the form of a small prick or stinging. The time in which the test results come back depends on the laboratory.
Values over 36 g/dL are considered high and may indicate spherocytosis which is a condition characterized by the presence of spehrocytes (red blood cells with abnormal quantities of Hb).
Other causes that lead to hyperchromic erythrocytes may be vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiencies.
Values below 28 g/dL are considered in the low spectrum and may indicate blood loss, iron deficiency or hypochromic anemia. Also, the paler the color of the erythrocytes, the lower the Hb concentration and subsequently the MCHC.
Hypochromic anemia may be caused by problems absorbing iron, diffuse internal bleeding or malignancy, amongst others.
Other considerations on MCHC values
Lipemia leading to false increases in Hb levels will in turn falsely increase MCHC. In hemolysis, due to the fewer intact RBCs, there is a decrease in the calculated hemoglobin that will falsely increase MCHC.
Agglutination or excess EDTA during testing are also known to determine false high levels.
Most nutritional deficiencies causing abnormal results can be corrected through a mineral rich diet and/or supplement intake.
A recent study has tested the prognostic values of hematological parameters and serum ion levels revealing that MCHC levels may be an independent prognostic factor for both short and long term outcomes of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in patients in the ICU. Lower MCHC is associated with poorer outcomes.
Example of a calculation
Question: Given a patient with hemoglobin 12.5 g/dL and hematocrit 42%, what is their MCHC?
Answer: MCHC in g/dL = 12.5/42 x 100 = 29.761 g/dL (rounded to 29.8 g/dL).
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2) Williams WJ. Examination of the blood. In: Williams WJ, Beutler E, Erslev AJ, Lichtman MA, eds. Hematology, 3d ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1983;9–14.
3) Vajpayee N, Graham SS, Bem S. Basic Examination of Blood and Bone Marrow. McPherson RA, Pincus MR. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd. Elsevier/Saunders: Philadelphia, PA; 2011. 30.
4) The McGill Physiology Virtual Lab (2016) Blood cell indices - MCV and MCHC.
5) Clark MR. (1989) Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration and cell deformability. Ann N Y Acad Sci; 565:284-94.
6) Huang YL, Hu ZD. (2016) Lower mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration is associated with poorer outcomes in intensive care unit admitted patients with acute myocardial infarction. Ann Transl Med; 4(10): 190.18 Aug, 2016