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Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH) measures the average amount of Hemoglobin per single red blood cell. It was used in the past to determine the cause of anemia. But because of its limitations, Mean Corpuscular Volume or MCV along with Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW) have replaced MCH as means of determining the cause of anemia. These are outlined below:

MCV is elevated (greater than 96) in:
– Vitamin B12 deficiency (Elevated RDW)
– Folate deficiency (Elevated RDW)
– Medications: Methotrexate, Imuran, Hydroxyurea (Normal RDW)
– Alcohol (Normal RDW)
– Liver disease (Elevated RDW)
– Multiple myeloma (Elevated RDW)
– Myelodysplastic syndrome (Elevated RDW)

MCV is normal (Between 80-96):
– Chronic disease (Elevated RDW)
– Renal failure (Elevated RDW)
– Sickle cell Anemia (Elevated RDW)
– Early Vitamin B12 and iron deficiency or mixed deficiencies (Elevated RDW)

MCV is low (less than 80) in:
– Iron deficiency (Elevated RDW)
– Toxins and drugs (Normal RDW)
– Thalassemia (Normal RDW)
– Myelodysplastic Syndrome (Elevated RDW)