White Blood Cell Disorders | Diagnosis & Treatment

How are white blood cell disorders diagnosed?

Depending on the type of white blood cell disorder a child has, the doctor may order:

  • blood work to evaluate white blood cells' number and morphology (appearance)
  • bone marrow testing

Doctors may order additional specific tests to confirm or rule out certain disorders, such as:

After all tests are completed, hematologists will be able to outline the best treatment options.

What are the treatment options white blood cell disorders?

Treatment depends on the underlying problem (e.g., acquired, congenital) and severity and may include:

  • oral or intravenous antibiotics to fight infection
  • colony-stimulating factor to stimulate the bone marrow to produce more white blood cells

Stem cell (bone marrow) transplant may be an option for severe congenital diseases. Bone marrow transplant involves the replacement of diseased bone marrow with another person’s healthy bone marrow. Unfortunately, it may not be an option for everyone. The success of a transplant depends on many factors, such as how close the match is between child and donor (matched siblings are best; if your child has a sibling, there is a 1-in-4 chance they will be a match) and the patient's age. The decision to proceed with bone marrow transplant should be discussed with your child’s hematologist and a stem cell transplant team.