Diagnosis of Blood and Bone Marrow Disorders
As a haematologist, Dr Pavlu specializes in recognizing and treating blood and bone marrow disorders and diseases. Correct prompt diagnosis is extremely important and Dr Pavlu offers diagnostic work-up for abnormalities of blood counts, such as:
• low haemoglobin – anaemia
• high haemoglobin or haematocrit
• high or low white cell count
• high or low neutrophil count
• high or low platelet counts
• high or low mean cell volume (MCV)
Dr Pavlu will take a thorough history, perform appropriate examination and suggest tailored tests to make the correct diagnosis.
MEDICAL HISTORY AND EXAMINATION
Dr Pavlu will talk to you about your symptoms, and how you are feeling. He will cover your past medical history, family history and discuss relevant potential triggers as part of a careful history.
Some haematological diseases cause enlarged lymph nodes, or an enlarged spleen, which can be detected by examination.
These can detect abnormal levels of cells and components in the blood, as well as factors that are produced by blood disorders e.g. paraprotein.
Assessing abnormal blood counts requires examination of the blood under a microscope to assess cell size, shape and number.
Blood cells, including cancerous cells can be identified by patterns of proteins on their surfaces. This test highlights abnormal cells in blood or bone marrow, thus helping identify certain diseases.
CYTOGENETICS AND MOLECULAR GENETICS
These tests look for alterations in chromosomes and genes i.e. our inherited genetic material. Certain changes are associated with particular cancers that require specific therapies. Once the cytogenetic abnormality is identified, the correct therapy can be offered.
BONE MARROW ASPIRATE AND BIOPSY
Bone marrow produces blood cells, and can be the source of abnormal blood cells. Therefore it is important to take a sample of the bone marrow, so it can be examined.
Haematologists use this test to establish whether a blood cancer has reached the space around spinal cord and brain – the intrathecal space. Chemotherapy can be also administered using a lumbar puncture technique. This is known as intrathecal chemotherapy.