Childhood AML

Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy

This refers to the removal of a small piece of bone and bone marrow by inserting a needle into the hipbone or breastbone. A pathologist will then view both the bone marrow biopsy and the bone marrow aspiration samples under a microscope to look for abnormal cells.


Tumor Biopsy

A biopsy of a chloroma may be done. A chloroma is a type of tumor associated with childhood AML that is formed by the accumulation of white blood cells.


Lymph Node Biopsy

The removal of all or part of a lymph node. A pathologist (someone who studies disease) will then view the tissue under a microscope to look for cancer cells.


Cytogenetic Analysis

A test in which the cells in a sample of blood or bone marrow are looked at under a microscope to find out if there are changes in the structure or number of chromosomes in the cells.



This is a process used to identify cells based on the types of antigens, or markers, on the surface of the cell that may include special staining of the blood and bone marrow cells. This process is used to diagnose the subtype of AML by comparing the cancer cells to normal cells of the immune system.


Lumbar Puncture

This is a procedure used to collect cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal column by placing a needle into it. This procedure is also called an LP or spinal tap.


Stages of Childhood AML

Once childhood AML has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. The extent or spread of cancer is usually described in stages.
There is no standard staging system for childhood AML. Childhood AML is described as untreated, in remission, or recurrent. In childhood AML, the subtype of AML and whether the leukemia has spread outside the blood and bone marrow are used, instead of the stage, to plan AML treatment.
(Click Childhood AML Stages for more information.)
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