Leukemia Home > Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia
Tests and procedures that may be used to diagnose acute lymphocytic leukemia include:
- Physical exam and history
- Complete blood count
- Peripheral blood smear
- Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy
- Cytogenetic analysis
Physical Exam and History
A physical exam entails an exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient's health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
A complete blood count is a procedure in which a sample of blood is drawn and checked for:
- The number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets
- The amount of hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen) in the red blood cells
- The portion of the blood sample made up of red blood cells.
Peripheral Blood Smear
A peripheral blood smear is a procedure in which a sample of blood is checked for:
- The presence of blast cells
- The number and kinds of white blood cells
- The number of platelets
- Changes in the shape of blood cells.
Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy
A bone marrow aspiration and biopsy entails 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 and bone marrow samples under a microscope to look for abnormal cells.