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16

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Version 1.2017

2

Testing for ALL

Blood tests and urinalysis

Blood tests and urinalysis

Doctors test blood to look for signs of disease and

to check your general health. Blood tests are done

along with other initial tests to help confirm ALL.

Blood tests may be repeated to check how well

treatment is working 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. The blood

sample will then be sent to a lab for testing. At the

lab, a pathologist will examine the blood with a

microscope and perform other tests.

CBC with differential

A CBC (

c

omplete

b

lood

c

ount) is a test that

measures the number of blood cells in a blood

sample. It includes the number of white blood cells,

red blood cells, and platelets. The CBC includes

a differential count. The differential measures the

different types of white blood cells in the sample.

A high number of white blood cells and a low number

of red blood cells and platelets may be signs of ALL.

This is because ALL causes too many young white

blood cells to be made. These white blood cells may

crowd the bone marrow so that too few normal blood

cells are made.

A CBC with differential is given with other initial tests

when ALL is first suspected. It is not used alone to

diagnose ALL, but it can tell your doctor about your

overall health. This test is also repeated to check

treatment results.

Blood chemistry profile

A blood chemistry profile measures the levels of

different chemicals in your blood. Chemicals in your

blood come from your liver, bone, and other organs

and tissues. Abnormal levels of certain chemicals in

the blood may be a sign that an organ isn’t working

well. Abnormal levels can be caused by cancer or

other health problems.

A blood chemistry profile is given along with other

initial tests for ALL. Doctors use this test to assess

the general health of your body and organs. It

can help check for organ damage caused by the

leukemia cells or ALL treatments.

Liver function tests

The liver is an organ that removes waste from the

blood and helps to digest food. Liver function tests

may be done along with a blood chemistry profile.

This is to check the health of your liver.

Liver function tests measure chemicals that are

made or processed by the liver. Abnormal levels—too

low or too high—may be a sign that your liver isn’t

working well. Abnormal levels may be caused by

cancer, cancer treatments, or other health problems.

Testing for viruses

Certain chronic viral infections may have few

symptoms, but require treatment in order to safely

administer chemotherapy or SCT (

s

tem

c

ell

t

ransplant) for ALL.