NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
See Part 1 on page
X for definitions of
other lung parts.
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2.2 Blood and bone marrow tests
Blood tests are used to look for signs of CML in peripheral blood. Blood tests
are done along with other initial tests to help diagnose CML. They are also used
to monitor how well treatment is working—called a treatment response—and
to check for side effects. For a blood test, your doctor will insert a needle into a
vein to remove a sample of blood. A pathologist will examine the sample with a
microscope and may perform other tests.
Bone marrow tests
Bone marrow tests are used to diagnose CML and to monitor how well treatment
is working. Bone marrow is the soft, sponge-like tissue in the center of most bones
where blood cells are made. The two types of bone marrow tests used for CML
are a bone marrow biopsy and a bone marrow aspiration. A biopsy is a medical
procedure that removes samples of tissue to be tested for disease. A biopsy is
generally a safe test and can typically be done in about 30 minutes. After the
samples are collected, they are sent to a lab for testing.
A bone marrow biopsy removes a small piece of solid bone along with a small
amount of soft bone marrow inside the bone. A bone marrow aspiration removes
a small amount of liquid bone marrow (called an aspirate) from inside the bone.
Usually both tests are done at the same time on the hip or breastbone.