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A 40-year-old member asked:

What do mcv and mch mean on a hematology report?

4 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Christian Schultheis
Hematology and Oncology 24 years experience
Definition: Mcv: mean corpuscular volume. Mch: mean corpuscular hemoglobin. The MCV tells us the size of the red blood cells and the MCH tells us how much hemoglobin is in each cell. The MCV is more important than the mch. They are referred to as red cell indices and they help us differentiate certain red blood cell problems. Hope this helps.
Dr. Devon Webster
Medical Oncology 22 years experience
MCV=size: Honestly, these are numbers we don't pay attention to unless there is a problem with your blood. If you have anemia (too few red blood cells), then a low MCV (small red cells) can mean iron deficiency, lead poisoning, or thalassemia. A high MCV (big red cells) can mean liver disease, folate (folic acid) deficiency, low thryoid, or abnormal bone marrow. Mch means similar things.
Dr. Michael Benjamin
Hematology and Oncology 23 years experience
Red cell indices: Mcv is the "mean corpuscular volume" or the average size of the red blood cells. It can get small in iron deficiency or thalassemia, or large in B12 or folate (folic acid) deficiency, mds, or with certain medications. Mch is the "mean corpuscular hemoglobin." it's calculated this way: MCH = hgb/rbc count. It's the amount of hemoglobin in each rbc. A low MCH could be another clue to iron deficiency.
Dr. Ritesh Rathore
Hematology and Oncology 30 years experience
Details: Mcv refers to the size of red blood cells which can vary in different disorders. Mch refers to the amount of hemoglobin inside red blood cells.

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