The color indicator is a parameter included in the general blood test. It serves as a starting point for the diagnosis of diseases of the red line of hematopoiesis with serious consequences. Let’s figure out what a color indicator is, to identify what pathology it is necessary for and how it is determined.
The red color of erythrocytes is given by hemoglobin – a combination of protein (globin) with iron ions.
This complex performs the function of a carrier of dissolved gases: it delivers oxygen to the tissues and takes carbon dioxide back into the blood.
The color indicator reflects the level of hemoglobin in the blood cell and the degree of its saturation with iron. The more a blood cell contains hemoglobin and carrier metal ions, the higher the color of the erythrocyte and the more efficient delivery of oxygen to the tissue.
- What else can you get from the indicator?
- The result of automatic analyzers
- How to calculate?
- The relationship of the color indicator with the size of red blood cells
- What does the lowered level mean?
- Железодефицитная анемия
- Chronic posthemorrhagic anemia
- What does an increased value mean?
- Who to contact to check the color indicator?
- What tests are needed?
- Increased hemoglobin
- Decreased hemoglobin
What else can you get from the indicator?
The digital value of the color index of blood indirectly makes it possible to judge the indices.
Calculated by analytical instruments:
- MCH (average hemoglobin content in blood), the normal value of which is 27-33,3 pg,
- The average concentration of oxygen carrier in the blood cell (the norm is 30-38%).
Thus, the color parameter 0,86 corresponds to the lower limit of the MCH norm and an average hemoglobin concentration of 30%.
The result of automatic analyzers
With automatic calculation, the color indicator can be replaced with the MCH (mean corpuscular hemoglobin) index, from English the abbreviation is translated as “the average hemoglobin content in one erythrocyte.”
The MCH index is more informative: it displays the level of hemoglobin, combined with oxygen and transferred to tissues.
The doctor has the value of both parameters:
- Calculated manually
How to calculate?
The color indicator can be calculated independently. To do this, you need to know the level of hemoglobin and the number of red blood cells, which is designated as RBC.
The formula by which the parameter is calculated:
Hemoglobin level * 3/the first 3 digits of the red blood cell count, substituted in the formula without a comma.
If the analyzes indicate two digits separated by a comma, you need to remove the comma and add 0. Digit 3 in the formula is unchanged. Calculation example with a hemoglobin level of 160 g/l and RBC = 4,5 g/l:
160 * 3/450 = 1,06. The resulting figure corresponds to the color indicator (not measured in conventional units).
The color indicator in a healthy person is within the following values:
|Gender, age||Normal value|
|Women who are not pregnant||+0,86|
|Older than 12||+0,86|
The condition in which the erythrocyte contains the optimal amount of hemoglobin and iron and has a normal red coloration is called normochromia (normo + chromos – color). The deviation of the color parameter can be in the direction of hypo- (decrease, decrease) or hyperchromia (increase).
The result is evaluated as follows:
- Hypochromia (CP 0,85 or less),
- Normochromia (0,86-1,05),
- Hyperchromia (over 1,06).
The norm of the color indicator is the same for men and women of all ages. Pregnancy is the only condition that is not a disease in which the color index is lowered in an adult. The low rate is due to physiological anemia characteristic of the 3rd trimester.
Interesting. A higher rate is typical for a child of the first year of life. It is explained by the presence in infants of fetal erythrocytes with a high concentration of hemoglobin. By adolescence, the indicator becomes the same as in adults.
An altered (above or below normal) color index goes hand in hand with reduced red blood cells and indicates anemia.
The relationship of the color indicator with the size of red blood cells
Cells that are overflowing with hemoglobin are enlarged and are called megalocytes. Their diameter exceeds 8 microns.
The higher the color value, the larger the blood cell size. The diameter of red blood cells with a normal color value is in the range of 7-8 microns.
If during maturation the erythrocyte is not saturated with a sufficient amount of red pigment, its diameter remains reduced – 6,9 microns or less.
Such a cell is called “microcyte”, and the anemia for which a microcyte is characteristic is called microcytic.
What does the lowered level mean?
Violation of hemoglobin synthesis.
A low reading indicates hypochromic microcytic anemia (with decreased hemoglobin and erythrocyte count).
Blood cell anemia
This type of anemia includes:
- Iron deficiency,
- Chronic post-hemorrhagic
All of them are a consequence of low hemoglobin, they are united by a violation of the inclusion of iron ions in the erythrocyte.
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Iron deficiency is the most common cause of hypochromic anemia.
The disease occurs due to:
- Insufficient consumption of animal products,
- The inflammatory process of the small intestine, leading to a decrease in the absorption of the trace element through the mucous membrane,
- Pregnancy, lactation, intensive growth in children.
Anemia in pregnant women not only worsens the condition of the woman, but also negatively affects the hematopoiesis of the fetus. She responds well to therapy with iron preparations that are safe for the unborn child.
Plasma iron levels and total serum iron-binding capacity (TIBC) need to be known to make a diagnosis.
Chronic posthemorrhagic anemia
The reason is constant bleeding, in which the loss of iron exceeds its intake with food.
Anemia develops with the following diseases:
- Erosive gastritis,
- Peptic ulcer,
- Abundant prolonged menstruation, intermenstrual bleeding with hormonal disruptions.
The disease is caused by a hereditary disorder of hemoglobin synthesis in the bone marrow. The body does not experience a lack of iron, it is simply unable to incorporate it into hemoglobin.
It can be determined by puncture of the bone marrow. In the analysis of punctate, there are damaged stem cells that are not able to absorb a sufficient amount of hemoglobin.
What does an increased value mean?
Lack of vitamin B12 or folic acid. As a result, erythrocytes are formed with large sizes and a high concentration of hemoglobin. Blood cells with such parameters die ahead of time.
Hyperchromic anemia (with a high color value) is caused by the following reasons:
- Gastritis, enteritis with atrophy of the mucous membrane, in which the protein that provides vitamin absorption,
- Secretory pancreatic insufficiency with pancreatitis,
- Severe liver dysfunction,
- Competitive consumption of vitamins by intestinal helminths,
- Long-term treatment with folic acid antagonist drugs: Methotrexate, Aminopterin, Neomycin, PASK,
- Disease of the thyroid gland with hormonal imbalance,
- A diet poor in vitamin B12, folic acid.
Important! Anemia does not always occur with a change in color parameter. In some conditions, normochromia is observed (a reduced number of red blood cells, but a normal level of hemoglobin). It is typical for kidney disease, acute blood loss.
Who to contact to check the color indicator?
To a therapist. The reasons for going to the doctor are usually pallor of the skin, drowsiness, lethargy.
What tests are needed?
General blood analysis. He will give a complete picture of the state of the hematopoietic system.
High hemoglobin is a sign:
- Hypoxia (lack of oxygen),
- Chronic infection.
It indicates that the body is working under stress and is a harbinger of depletion of health resources.
In addition to a general blood test, a biochemical one is informative, which is also prescribed by a therapist.
He will indicate what is needed to prevent high hemoglobin:
- Rationalization of physical activity,
- Rejection of bad habits,
- Remediation of foci of chronic infection,
- Healthy diet.
Products that lower hemoglobin:
- Vegetable dishes: salads, raw vegetables,
- Diet meat,
To prevent anemia, it is recommended:
- To identify and treat diseases of the digestive organs (gastritis, enteritis), dysbiosis, hormonal disorders,
- Include in the diet foods high in iron, folic acid, vitamin B12,
- To refuse from bad habits,
- Take multivitamins with prophylactic courses.
Anemia of mild to moderate severity is treated by a therapist. Without agreement with him, it is undesirable to take any drugs.
The doctor will prescribe a course of an iron-containing drug for hypochromic anemia, cyanocobalamin or folic acid for hyperchromic anemia.
Food for anemia includes:
- Pork, beef liver, kidneys,
- Nuts, dried fruits,
With compensated chronic diseases and a rational lifestyle, the iron consumed by the body is fully replenished through food.