Leukemia Home > Adult Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Making a Diagnosis

Tests that examine the blood and bone marrow are used to detect and diagnose adult acute myeloid leukemia. Tests and procedures that may be used to diagnose adult acute myeloid leukemia include:
  • Physical exam and history
  • Complete blood count
  • Blood chemistry studies
  • Peripheral blood smear
  • Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy
  • Cytogenetic analysis
  • Immunophenotyping.
Physical Exam and History
The 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
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 sample made up of red blood cells.
Blood Chemistry Studies
Blood chemistry studies examine a blood sample to measure the amounts of certain substances released into the blood by organs and tissues in the body. An unusual (higher or lower than normal) amount of a substance can be a sign of disease in the organ or tissue that produces it.
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.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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