17th October 2019


What does it mean when your MCV and MCH are high?

MCH stands for “mean corpuscular hemoglobin.” An MCH value refers to the average quantity of hemoglobin present in a single red blood cell. MCH results tend to mirror MCV results. This is because bigger red blood cells generally contain more hemoglobin while smaller red blood cells tend to have less.

So, what does it mean if your mean corpuscular volume is high?

High. In pernicious anemia (macrocytic), MCV can range up to 150 femtolitres. An elevated MCV is also associated with alcoholism (as are an elevated GGT and a ratio of AST:ALT of 2:1). Vitamin B12 and/or folic acid deficiency has also been associated with macrocytic anemia (high MCV numbers).

What does it mean to have a low MCV?

Low MCV. The MCV will be lower than normal when red blood cells are too small. This condition is called microcytic anemia. Microcytic anemia may be caused by: iron deficiency, which can be caused by poor dietary intake of iron, menstrual bleeding, or gastrointestinal bleeding.

Is Macrocytosis serious?

Macrocytosis can have a number of causes, some of which are benign. However, it may also indicate a serious underlying condition, such as myelodysplasia or leukaemia. It is important in primary care to identify which patients with macrocytosis require referral to a haematologist.
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