What does high or low HCM mean on the CBC?
Average Corpuscular Hemoglobin (HCM) is one of the parameters of the blood test that measures the size and color of hemoglobin within the blood cell, which can also be called mean globular hemoglobin (HGM).
HCM, as well as VCM, are ordered in a complete blood count in order to identify the type of anemia that the person has, hyperchromic, normochromic or hypochromic.
Possible HCM changes
Thus, the possible changes in the result of this exam are:
When the values are above 33 picograms in adults, this indicates hyperchromic anemia, thyroid disorders or alcoholism.
The causes of high HCM are due to the increase in the size of red blood cells that are larger than desired, leading to the appearance of megaloblastic anemia caused by a lack of vitamin B12 and folic acid.
When the values are below 26 picograms in adults, this indicates hypochromic anemia that can be caused by iron deficiency anemia, due to lack of iron, and thalassemia, which is a type of genetic anemia.
When HCM is low, this indicates that red blood cells are smaller than normal and as the cells themselves are small, the average hemoglobin value is low.
HCM and CHCM reference values
The normal values of mean corpuscular hemoglobin in picograms per red blood cell are:
- Newborn: 27 - 31
- 1 to 11 months: 25 - 29
- 1 to 2 years: 25 - 29
- 3 to 10 years: 26 - 29
- 10 to 15 years: 26 - 29
- Men: 26 - 34
- Women: 26 - 34
The mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (CHCM) values vary between 32 and 36%.
These values indicate the staining that the blood cell has, so when the values are low, the center of the cell is whitish and when the values are increased, the cell is darker than normal.
Types of anemia
The types of anemia are very varied and knowing which type the person has is important to identify its cause and how to perform the best treatment. In the case of anemia due to lack of iron, just take iron supplements and eat more iron-rich foods to cure this anemia. However, when a person has thalassemia, which is another type of anemia, it may even be necessary to have blood transfusions. Learn the types of anemia, its symptoms, treatments.