Myelofibrosis is diagnosed through a combination of blood tests, bone marrow tests, and imaging tests. Each of these tests provides different information that helps in the diagnosis of this condition.
Blood Tests for Myelofibrosis:
- Complete blood count (CBC): This test measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in your blood. In myelofibrosis, the number of these cells can be abnormal.
- Blood smear: In this test, a sample of your blood is examined under a microscope. Myelofibrosis can cause changes in the appearance of your blood cells.
- Genetic testing: Certain genetic mutations are associated with myelofibrosis. This test can identify these mutations and help confirm a diagnosis.
Bone Marrow Tests for Myelofibrosis:
- Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy: These tests involve taking a small sample of your bone marrow to be examined under a microscope. In myelofibrosis, the bone marrow is often fibrous and scarred.
- Genetic testing: Blood or bone marrow cells are analyzed for gene mutations, such as JAK2, CALR and MPL.
Imaging Tests for Myelofibrosis:
- Ultrasound: This imaging test uses sound waves to create pictures of your spleen. An enlarged spleen is a common symptom of myelofibrosis.
- Computed Tomography (CT) scan: This test uses x-rays to create detailed pictures of your body. It can help identify any abnormalities in your spleen or liver.
A Summary of Diagnosing Myelofibrosis
Diagnosing myelofibrosis involves a comprehensive evaluation that includes blood tests, bone marrow tests, and imaging tests. These tests help identify the characteristic signs of myelofibrosis, such as abnormal blood cells, fibrous bone marrow, and an enlarged spleen. The results of these tests, along with your symptoms and medical history, are used to make a diagnosis.