In clinical practice, using different estimated values, reflecting the physical and chemical properties of red blood cells, allowing to characterize quantitatively the important indicators of the red blood cells. They are calculated from the values of hematocrit, hemoglobin, red blood cell count.

Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV – Mean Corpuscular Volume)

MCV – mean corpuscular volume – the average volume of red blood cells, measured in FL. Calculated by dividing the hematocrit value (the amount of cell volume) by the total number of red blood cells. Based on the values of MCV differentiate anemia (microcytic and melanocytic) for the choice of therapy. This is a more accurate parameter than visual assessment of the size of red blood cells, but it is not reliable when a large number of red blood cells with a modified form.

Changes in MCV may provide useful information on violations of water-electrolyte balance. Increased value of MCV indicates hypotonic nature of violations of water-electrolyte balance, whereas a decrease – the hypertonic nature.

MCV blood test values in the norm:

75-95 fl.

The average content of hemoglobin (MCH – Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin)

This indicator reflects the absolute content of hemoglobin in one erythrocyte, expressed in Pico grams (pg). Determine it by dividing the hemoglobin concentration by the number of red blood cells in the same volume of blood. This is a true indicator of iron deficiency in iron or undigested erythroblasts and violations of the synthesis of hem (sideroblastic anemia). SIT has no independent meaning and is always correlated with MCV and ICSU. Based on these indicators differentiate normo-, hypo-and hyper chromic anemia.

Reducing the average amount of hemoglobin is observed by reducing the volume of red blood cells (microsites) or lowering of hemoglobin in normal erythrocytes by volume.

The content of hemoglobin in the norm:

26-34 pg.

Decrease of SIT (gipohromiya):

Hypochromic and microcytic anemia (iron deficiency, anemia of chronic disease);


Some haemoglobinopathies;

Lead poisoning;

Violation of the synthesis of porphyries.

Improving SIT (hyper chrome):

Disorders of the exchange of vitamin B 12 or deficit (megaloblastic anemia);

Many chronic hemolytic anemia;

Hypo plastic anemia after acute blood loss;


Liver disease;

Metastasis of malignant neoplasms;

Acceptance of cytostatic, contraceptives, anticonvulsants.

The average concentration of hemoglobin (MCHC – Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration)

ICSU – reflects the degree of saturation of the red blood cell hemoglobin, characterized by the ratio of hemoglobin to the volume of cells (not dependent on cell volume, in contrast to SIT), is expressed in grams per liter.

ICSU is used for the differential diagnosis of anemia. Decline reflects absolute hyper chrome.