Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (Mean Cell Hemoglobin Concentration, MCHC)
The mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) is used to determine the concentration of hemoglobin in a given volume of red blood cells. The difference between the MCHC and MCH is that the MCH is the average mass of hemoglobin per red blood cell expressed in pictograms (pg), while the MCHC is the concentration of hemoglobin in a red blood cell or, in other words, the ratio of hemoglobin concentration to cell volume.
The mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) does not depend on the volume of a cell and is, therefore, a marker of disorders of hemoglobin synthesis. When a disease develops accompanied by disorders of hemoglobin synthesis, a decrease in MCHC levels occurs only after all of the bodily compensatory reactions have been exhausted. As a result, a low MCHC with normal red blood cell and hemoglobin levels may be indicative of an inaccurate MCHC test.
A high concentration of hemoglobin in a red blood cell is not a common finding either, because this has to do with the molecular structure of hemoglobin, its water solubility and, consequently, packing in a red blood cell.
MCHC is measured in g/dL (conventional units) or g/L (SI units). The conversion formula is as follows: g/dL x 10 = g/L