Page last updated December 2018

This is a FREE resource designed to support the medical profession in their care of women made possible by over 750 expert clinicians who are generously providing their contributions without any remuneration and by the publishers who have paid personally for the creation of this site in the memory of their daughter, Abigail.

Current Authors

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 m/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