What's the Meaning of MCV and MCH Levels Above Normal?

By Staff WriterLast Updated May 27, 2020 7:53:23 PM ET
Red Blood Cell
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When visiting a doctor for a routine check-up or for reasons of illness, the doctor may order a blood test. Blood tests are used to check levels in the blood cells and a patient's overall health. Some of the blood counts a doctor monitors in test results is the mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) and mean corpuscular volume (MCV). Both of these counts are measured in the red blood cells. 

What Are MCVs?

Mean corpuscular volume, also referred to as MCV, is measured by taking a patient's blood. MCV levels measure the size of the red blood cells in the body. Increased levels mean the red blood cells are bigger than normal.

What Are MCHs?

Mean corpuscular hemoglobin, also known as MCH, is a measurement of hemoglobin in the red blood cells. The level of MCH in the red blood cells is usually tested during a complete blood count (CBC) test.

What Do Elevated MCV Levels Indicate

The MCV readings are measured in femtoliters and the normal range is 80 to 95 for an adult. Not all, but some tests that result in an enlarged size of the red blood cells could indicate a vitamin deficiency in vitamins such as B12 or folic acid, hypothyroidism, and in some cases, liver disease. 

What Do Elevated MCH Levels Indicate?

A doctor is usually looking for MCH test results, in adults, to be in the range of 27 to 33 picograms in each cell. When MCH levels are elevated, it's usually in correlation with the MCV range being elevated too. Some diagnoses of adults with increased MCH levels can be infection complications, anemia, liver disease and some cancers. People that drink alcohol on a regular basis could show levels of elevated MCH also.

Benefits to Regulating MCV and MCH Levels

The red blood cells play an important part in the function of the human anatomy. Oxygen is carried through these cells from the lungs to all the other cells in the body. Cells in the body are supposed to continuously be reproducing and without the oxygen carried by the red blood cells, this wouldn't be possible.

When you have an annual physical or a doctor orders blood work, it is in your best interest to follow through with getting these tests done. Making sure the MCV and MCH levels are within normal range can help in preventing disease, blood disorders or other indications that something might not be right with the body.

If, by chance, a patient's MCV and MCH levels are not within the preferred range, a doctor can order further tests to figure out why the numbers are irregular. Once this is figured out, a doctor can work with the patient on a plan to bring the levels back to a normal range. 

Having these levels measure within the normal range is beneficial to the patient in combating or catching something irregular so that good health is maintained

Why Do MCV and MCH Levels Matter?

Some of the symptoms that could be associated with increased measurements of MCV levels is a dull or pale look to the skin, tiring easily, abnormal bruising, cold feet and hands or unusual bleeding. With elevated levels of the MCH, a person could experience dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath and consistent bouts of being tired. 

Paying attention to the increased levels matters because although these measurements are sometimes easily curable, although it could sometimes mean something more serious is going on within the body.

Not only should a person pay attention to high levels of MCV and MCH, but low levels of these measurements can also indicate something abnormal is happening in the body.