Childhood Hodgkin's Disease Tests and Diagnosis

Tests often used to detect and diagnose childhood Hodgkin's disease include:

  • Physical exam and history: The doctor will perform an exam of your child’s body to check general signs of health, as well as look for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual.
  • Lymph node biopsy: A biopsy will be performed in order to remove all or part of a lymph node. One of the following types of biopsies may be done:
  • Excisional biopsy: The removal of an entire lymph node
  • Incisional biopsy: The removal of part of a lymph node
  • Core biopsy: The removal of tissue from a lymph node using a wide needle
  • Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy: The removal of tissue from a lymph node using a thin needle
  • Chest X-ray: A chest X-ray is an X-ray the chest, lungs, heart, large arteries, ribs and diaphragm.
  • Computed tomography scan (CT or CAT scan): A computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of the body.
  • Complete blood count (CBC): This is a procedure in which the number of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are counted, and the amount of hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen) is measured.
  • Blood chemistry studies: The goal of this procedure is to check a blood sample for the amounts of certain substances released into the blood by organs and tissues in the body. An unusual (higher or lower than normal) amount of a substance can be a sign of disease in the organ or tissue that makes it.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan: A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that uses a radioactive substance called a tracer to look for disease in the body.
  • Immunophenotyping: This is a test in which the cells in a sample of blood or bone marrow are examined under a microscope to find out the type of malignant lymphocytes that are causing the disease.