Diagnosing Pediatric CML (Chronic Myeloid Leukemia)
Typically, no symptoms present for quite a while with CML, which is why it is often discovered when a child undergoes blood tests for other reasons. Because CML responds most effectively to treatment during the early phases of the disease, a prompt diagnosis is critical. In the Hemato-Oncology Division at Sheba Medical Center, our pathologists and clinicians use cutting-edge technologies and top-tier skills to evaluate all test results quickly and precisely.
When a doctor suspects that a child may have CML, diagnostic testing may include:
A complete blood count, blood chemistries, and liver and kidney function panels can provide essential information about the number of blood cells in the body and how well different organs are functioning. Blood cells will also be examined under a microscope to inspect for abnormalities that point to CML.
Bone Marrow Tests
CML starts in the bone marrow, so closely examining bone marrow samples is a key part of testing for this disease. Usually, a bone marrow biopsy and aspiration are performed, and cytogenetic analysis is used to evaluate the cells for specific chromosomal changes associated with CML.
FISH (Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization) Test
This precise laboratory test inspects for chromosomal or gene abnormalities.
Ultrasound or CT scans may be used to inspect for an enlarged liver, spleen, or swollen lymph nodes. An MRI scan may be performed in order to check the brain and spinal cord for any signs that the CML has spread into these areas.
Flow Cytometry Test
This test examines the leukemia cells collected from bone marrow, blood, and/or spinal fluid to determine the exact type of leukemia a child has. This information is important for designing an individualized treatment program.
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