: A myeloproliferative disorder may be suspected if a patient has symptoms of one of these disorders. The most common symptom noticed during a physical examination is an enlarged spleen. A doctor may then perform blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy to confirm a diagnosis.
Blood tests: A complete blood count can determine if a person has high or low levels of certain types of blood cells, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. They can also detect anemia (low levels of red blood cells) and leukemia (abnormal white blood cells that divide uncontrollably).
Bone marrow biopsy: If a myeloproliferative disorder is suspected and there are abnormalities in a person's blood, a bone marrow biopsy may be performed to confirm a diagnosis. During this procedure, a thin needle with a syringe attachment is used to collect a small sample of liquid bone marrow from the hip bone. A larger needle is then inserted to remove a tiny piece of bone marrow. The individual is usually awake during the procedure, but local anesthetics (such as lidocaine) and sedatives (such as midazolam, or Versed®) may be given to reduce pain. The samples are then analyzed to determine if there are abnormal types or numbers of blood cells.
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