The first step in treating your child is forming an accurate and complete diagnosis. Your child’s physician may order a number of different tests to make a diagnosis of aplastic anemia. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, aplastic anemia can only be diagnosed accurately by a full evaluation of the blood and bone marrow.
To diagnose aplastic anemia, your child’s physician may order some or all of the following tests:
- blood tests- A complete blood count (CBC) can help your child’s doctor to understand the cause of the anemia. In aplastic anemia, this test shows an abnormally low number of all blood cells: red cells, white cells and platelets.
- bone marrow exam– Using a needle, samples of the fluid (aspiration) and solid (biopsy) portions of bone marrow are withdrawn under local anesthesia. This allows your child’s doctor to look for marrow abnormalities. This test is necessary in order to make a definitive diagnosis of aplastic anemia.
- other tests– Additional blood tests and genetic testing may be ordered to rule out certain inherited types of anemia and other disorders such as myelodysplastic syndrome.
It’s important to understand that the symptoms of aplastic anemia may resemble other blood disorders or medical problems; some of them are very common and easy to treat, while others can be more serious. The symptoms listed above are common presentations of the disease, but do not include all possible symptoms.
Your child may experience symptoms differently. Therefore, it is important to be evaluated by a physician to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Always consult your child's physician if you have concerns.
After we complete all necessary tests, our experts meet to review and discuss what they have learned about your child's condition. Then we will meet with you and your family to discuss the results and outline the best treatment options.
Questions about your visit? Check out our Cancer and Blood Disorders Care Center for directions, contact information and other important information.