Acute Myeloid Leukaemia diagnosis

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To diagnose acute myeloid leukaemia doctors use tests to examine the blood and bone marrow and demonstrate the presence of tumour cells.

Tests and procedures for diagnosing Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

Doctor with a report carrying out an interview or anamnesis

Physical exam and medical history. A medical examination is carried out to identify the signs of this or any other disease. Data on the patient’s lifestyle and eating habits is also recorded, along with that of their family, history of diseases and the treatments applied in each case.

Blood collection tube

Complete blood work.

Microscope with a close up of blood cells

Peripheral blood smear. Procedure for analysing and examining a blood sample under the microscope and observing whether there are any blood cell abnormalities.

Bone marrow sample. To obtain a sample of bone marrow tissue the following steps are followed:

Bone marrow harvesting from the lumbar region

Bone marrow aspiration. Blood is drawn from the bone marrow through a needle that is inserted into the inside of the bone to take a small sample. The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic, and the sample is usually taken from the breastbone or hip.

Bone marrow harvesting from the lumbar region

Bone marrow biopsy. This test is appropriate only in a few cases. It involves removing a small sample of bone, usually from the hip, and normally requires the patient to be sedated.

Patient undergoing a lumbar puncture

Lumbar puncture. Sometimes it is also necessary to study whether the disease has spread to the central nervous system (CNS), so a lumbar puncture is performed to analyse whether immature cells (blasts) can be identified in the cerebrospinal fluid, which bathes the CNS.

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Substantiated information by:

Laia Guardia Roca
Marina Díaz Beyá

Published: 8 April 2019
Updated: 8 April 2019

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