Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Leukemia Evaluation

The evaluation of leukemia begins with a history and physical exam.

Physical findings in someone with leukemia may include:

Tests that may be used to evaluate leukemia include:
  • Coagulation profile
  • Complete blood count
  • Peripheral blood smear:
    • Usually shows abnormally high numbers of lymphocytes. The lymphocytes will also have an abnormal shape, size or character when viewed under a microscope.
  • Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy
  • Philadelphia chromosome analysis:
    • Detects abnormal DNA that may be present in leukemia
    • A type of karyotype that is used to identify a chromosomal abnormality that is often associated with chronic myelogenous leukemia or CML. The analysis specifically looks for an exchange (translocation) of genetic material between chromosomes 9 and 22.
  • Immunophenotyping:
    • Determines the type of abnormal lymphocyte
  • Cytogenic analysis:
    • Detects DNA abnormalities in lymphocytes
  • Immunophenotype:
    • Detects CD5 and CD23 positive B cells
  • Chest x-ray

Imaging tests that may be used to evaluate leukemia include:

For more information:

Continue to Leukemia Treatment

Last Updated: Dec 20, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Leukemia References
  1. Alderton LE, Spector LG, et al. Child and maternal household chemical exposure and the risk of acute leukemia in children with Down's syndrome: a report from the Children's Oncology Group. Am J Epidemiol. 2006 Aug 1;164(3):212-21. [16760223]
  2. Elliott MA. Chronic neutrophilic leukemia: a contemporary review. Curr Hematol Rep. 2004 May;3(3):210-7. [15087070]
  3. Fulcher JW, Allred TJ, et al. Granular acute lymphoblastic leukemia in adults: report of a case and review of the literature. South Med J. 2006 Aug;99(8):894-7. [16929890]
  4. Gupta V, Tabak D, Keating A. Acute promyelocytic leukemia: a case-based review. Hematology. 2003 Apr;8(2):105-13. [12745660]
  5. Haferlach T, Kern W, Schnittger S, Schoch C. Modern diagnostics in acute leukemias. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2005 Nov;56(2):223-34.[16213152]
  6. Leopold LH, Willemze R. The treatment of acute myeloid leukemia in first relapse: a comprehensive review of the literature. Leuk Lymphoma. 2002 Sep;43(9):1715-27. [12685823]
  7. Pui CH, Pei D, Sandlund JT, et al. Risk of adverse events after completion of therapy for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. J Clin Oncol. 2005 Nov 1;23(31):7936-41. [16258093]
  8. Redaelli A, Botteman MF, Stephens JM, Brandt S, Pashos CL. Economic burden of acute myeloid leukemia: a literature review. Cancer Treat Rev. 2004 May;30(3):237-47. [15059647]
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