Red Blood Cell Indices

The Red Blood Cell Indices measure the:

These indices measure the size and content of the red blood cells. The purpose of the measurement it to obtain further insight into the body's response to anemia.

  • Elevated MCV (>103) is a macrocytic cell
  • Normal MCV is a normocytic cell
  • Diminished MCV (<87) is a microcytic cell

  • Elevated MCH is associated with macrocytic anemia
  • Diminished MCH is associated with microcytic anemia

  • Elevated MCHC is associated with spherocytosis
  • MCHC is normal with pernicious anemia
  • Diminished (<31) MCHC is associated with hypochromic anemia


Normal Values*

MCV 87-103 cubic Ám/red cell
MCH 26-34 pg/cell
MCHC 31-37 g Hgb/dl

*These are general values taken from a variety of sources. The actual normal values may vary from lab to lab and from one type of testing protocol to another.

Source: Operational Medicine 2001,  Health Care in Military Settings, NAVMED P-5139, May 1, 2001, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Department of the Navy, 2300 E Street NW, Washington, D.C., 20372-5300 

Gynecology and Obstetrics CD-ROM
Volumes 1-6
2004 Edition
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Copyright 2004
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