Childhood MDS and MPN diagnosis | Leukaemia Foundation

Childhood MDS and MPN diagnosis

How is childhood MDS and MPN diagnosed?

MDS and MPN are diagnosed by examining samples of your child’s blood and bone marrow.

Full blood count

The first step in the diagnosis is a simple blood test called a full blood count (FBC) or complete blood count (CBC). This involves a sample of blood from a vein in your child’s arm being sent to the laboratory for investigation. Most people with MDS have a low red cell and platelet count. A diagnosis needs to be confirmed by examining the cells in the bone marrow.

Bone marrow examination

If the results of the blood tests suggest MDS or MPN, a bone marrow biopsy may be required to help confirm the diagnosis. A bone marrow biopsy involves taking a sample of your child’s bone marrow (usually from the back of the hip bone) and sending it to the laboratory for examination under the microscope. The bone marrow biopsy may be done in the haematologist’s rooms, clinic or day procedure centre and is usually performed under a light anaesthetic or sedation given through a small drip in your child’s arm. The sample of bone marrow is examined in the laboratory to determine the number and type of cells present and the amount of haematopoiesis (blood-forming) activity taking place there.

Further testing

Once the diagnosis of MDS or MPN is made, blood and bone marrow cells are examined further using special laboratory tests. These include immunophenotyping and cytogenetic tests. These tests provide more information about the exact type of disease your child has, the likely course of the disease and the best way to treat it. Other tests may be conducted to provide information on your child’s general health and how their vital organs are functioning. These include a combination of further blood tests and imaging tests (like x-rays, scans and ECG). These results will provide a baseline of your child’s disease and general health which will be compared with later results to assess how well your child is progressing and responding to treatment.

More information about childhood MDS and MPN

» Treatment
» Living with MDS and MPN

Last updated on January 8th, 2016

Developed by the Leukaemia Foundation in consultation with people living with a blood cancer, Leukaemia Foundation support staff, haematology nursing staff and/or Australian clinical haematologists. This content is provided for information purposes only and we urge you to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis, treatment and answers to your medical questions, including the suitability of a particular therapy, service, product or treatment in your circumstances. The Leukaemia Foundation shall not bear any liability for any person relying on the materials contained on this website.

Share this page

X
X