MCHC Low: What does it mean in a blood test?

The Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration or MCHC It is the portion of hemoglobin that red blood cells have in a given amount of blood.

The Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (HCM) It is calculated through a blood test using the formula: HCM = Hemoglobin / Hematocrit. Where hemoglobin, a protein that red blood cells contain, is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. And hematocrit is the measurement of the percentage of red blood cells in relation to the overall volume of blood in the body.

Then the MCHC is the proportion of the mass of hemoglobin in a specific volume of red blood cells and is measured in grams per deciliter (gr / dl).

Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration is used to diagnose certain types of anemia and is usually part of a complete blood count or complete blood count (CBC).

Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration

The Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration analysis is used to assess problems that may exist with the hemoglobin content in red blood cells.

As there is a Low MCHC, there is a low hemoglobin, which causes the red blood cells to have less color than normal. This low amount of color in the red blood cells characterizes microcytic anemias or hypochromic or low color anemias.

  • Hypochromic anemia is known as the “green disease” or chlorosis, due to the low amount of color in red blood cells when viewed under a microscope.
  • In normochromic anemias or macrocytic anemias, the amount of hemoglobin or HCM is high, therefore, the concentration is normal.
  • MCHC is high in hyperchromic anemias as well as in diseases such as hereditary spherocytosis, homozygous hemoglobin C disease, and sickle cell disease.

Normal values

Although normal MCHC values vary from one medical laboratory to another, all are within the 31 to 36 g / dl range, whether for men, women or children.

You may also be interested in knowing what it means to have high Gamma GT levels.

What does a low MCHC mean in a blood test?

A low MCHC in a blood test means that hemoglobin is low due to a decrease in the number of red blood cells or a low hematocrit. Basically, because not enough red blood cells are being produced or they are rapidly being destroyed.

Also, there are cases in which a large and sudden loss of blood or a progressive decrease over the years causes a low Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration.

This decrease in the Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration suggests problems in the production of hemoglobin that must be present in red blood cells. This may indicate the existence of:

  • Iron deficiency anemia, in more than 95% of cases.
  • Liver diseases, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, and others.
  • Congenital sideroblastic anemia, related to the X chromosome.

For this reason, when the presence of anemia is suspected, an analysis of the Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration is recommended.


Although they don’t always show up symptoms when you have low MCHC, on some occasions you may feel:

  • Exhaustion or fatigue.
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Pallor.
  • Chest pain.
  • Lack of concentration.
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches.
  • Frozen hands and feet.

As these symptoms are similar to those of anemias, it is very important to do an analysis of the Average Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration to know what our condition is.

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