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.
March 18, 2014
- Aplastic anemia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/aplastic/. Accessed Sept. 14, 2013.
- Lichtman MA, et al. Williams Hematology. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=69. Accessed Sept. 14, 2013.
- Schrier SL. Aplastic anemia: Prognosis and treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 14, 2013.