What is the diagnosis of Aplastic Anemia?
After discussing your symptoms, the doctor will examine you and ask to perform various blood tests to determine the count of blood cells (red blood cells and white blood cell) and platelets.
Along with this, the doctor will conduct some more tests to differentiate aplastic anaemia with pure red cell aplasia. Patients with aplastic anaemia have pancytopenia (i.e., anaemia, neutropenia and thrombocytopenia), because of which they experience a decrease in all formed elements, whereas patients with pure red blood cell aplasia, only have low red blood cell count.
Aplastic anaemia will be suspected if your blood cell count fails to match normal levels. Bone morrow biopsy will be performed to confirm the diagnosis as it is the only way of confirming the suspected aplastic anaemia.
In bone marrow biopsy, sample of the bone marrow will be obtained by inserting a needle into the pelvic bone. This sample will be diagnosed in laboratory and haematologist, a specialist of blood disorders, will examine the diagnosis drawn on the basis of lab test’s result.
Before bone marrow biopsy, the doctor will get many other tests such as complete blood count, renal function and electrolytes, liver enzymes, thyroid function, vitamin B12 and folic acid levels done to get a clear picture of patient’s condition.
The following tests are undertaken to differentiate between aplastic anemia and pure red blood cell aplasia.
1. Bone marrow aspirate and biopsy to rule out causes of pure red blood cell aplasia.
2. History of iatrogenic exposure.
3. X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, or ultrasound imaging tests to check for enlarged lymph nodes (sign of lymphoma), kidneys and bones in arms and hands.
4. Chest X-ray to determine any underlying infection.
5. Liver tests for liver ailments.
6. Viral studies.
7. Vitamin B12 and folate levels in blood for possible vitamin deficiency.
8. Blood tests for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria.
9. Test for antibodies to know competency of the patient’s immune system.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Apr 06, 2013
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