Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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To diagnose aplastic anemia, your doctor may recommend:

  • Blood tests. Normally, red blood cell, white blood cell and platelet levels stay within a certain range. Your doctor may suspect aplastic anemia when all three of these blood cell levels are very low.
  • Bone marrow biopsy. To confirm a diagnosis, you'll need to undergo a bone marrow biopsy. In this procedure, a doctor uses a needle to remove a small sample of bone marrow from a large bone in your body, such as your hipbone. The bone marrow sample is examined under a microscope to rule out other blood-related diseases. In aplastic anemia, bone marrow contains fewer blood cells than normal.

Once you've received a diagnosis of aplastic anemia, you may need additional tests to determine an underlying cause.

Mar. 18, 2014