Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Tests and Diagnosis

The following tests and procedures may be used in diagnosing childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML):
    • Physical exam and history: An exam of your child’s body to assess general signs of health, including checking for lumps or anything else that seems unusual.
    • Complete Blood Count (CBC) and blood chemistry studies: A CBC is a common lab test of your child's blood in which the number of red  and white blood cells, as well as the total amount of hemoglobin are measured. In a blood chemistry study, components such as fats (lipids), proteins, sugar (glucose), electrolytes (potassium, magnesium and calcium) and enzymes are measured.
    • Chest X-ray biopsy lumbar puncture (spinal tap): A procedure used to collect cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal column.

        • Specific lab testing including:
        • Cytogenetic analysis: A laboratory test in which cells in a sample of blood or bone marrow are viewed under a microscope to look for certain changes in the chromosomes.
        • Immunophenotyping: A process used to diagnose the subtype of AML by comparing the cancer cells to normal cells of the immune system. 
        • Reverse transcription – polymerase chain reaction test (RT–PCR): A  test in which cells in a sample of tissue are studied using chemicals to look for certain changes in the structure or function of genes.