Testing & Diagnosis for Pediatric Anemia in Children

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Contact the Blood Disorders Center

The first step in treating your child is forming an accurate and complete diagnosis. Anemia is usually discovered during a medical exam through simple blood tests that measure the concentration of hemoglobin and the number of red blood cells.

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures to determine the underlying cause of the anemia may include:

  • blood tests—A complete blood count (CBC) can help your child’s doctor to understand the cause of the anemia.
  • hemoglobin electrophoresis—a test to determine the amount and type of hemoglobin in the blood
  • additional blood tests (e.g., iron levels)
  • bone marrow aspiration and biopsy—marrow may be removed by aspiration or a needle biopsy under local anesthesia. With aspiration, a fluid specimen is removed from the bone marrow. In a needle biopsy, a very small core of marrow structure including marrow cells (not fluid) is removed.

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 for your child’s anemia.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944