Red blood cell indices are calculations that provide information on the physical characteristics of the RBCs:
- Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) is a measurement of the average size of a single red blood cell.
- Mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) is a calculation of the average amount of hemoglobin inside a single red blood cell.
- Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) is a calculation of the average concentration of hemoglobin inside a single red blood cell.
- Red cell distribution width (RDW) is a calculation of the variation in the size of RBCs.
These are measurements or calculations are components of the Complete Blood Count (CBC), a commonly requested test used for a variety of purposes. To learn more about the CBC and these individual components, please review the CBC page, especially the sections on "How is it used?" and "What does the test result mean?" (RBC Evaluation).