Clinical hematology is a division in medical science that deals with blood-related disorders. Blood and marrow illnesses require the expertise of highly trained medical professionals known as hematologists and hematopathologists. This includes cells found in the blood and marrow. This article gives information about different tests carried out at a hematology laboratory.
What is referred to as hematology tests?
Hematology tests aid in the diagnosis of a wide range of blood disorders and diseases, from inflammation and anaemia to infections and clotting abnormalities to leukaemia and chemotherapy reactions.
It’s a series of exams designed to assist in figuring out what’s wrong with your blood or your organs that handle blood. Seeking help from a hematologist in Coimbatore can help you diagnose any blood issues at the earliest.
The most common tests performed at the hematology lab to detect various blood disorders:
Full Blood Count Testing:
White blood cells (WBCs), red blood cells (RBCs), and platelets are the three main components of the blood that are tested during a full blood count (FBC), also known as a complete blood cell count (CBC).
- The size, quantity, and maturity of the various blood cells in a given amount of blood are all measured by a complete blood cell count.
- A full blood cell count can detect many irregularities in blood cell formation or destruction.
- Blood cell counts, sizes, and maturities deviating from the norm can indicate infection or sickness.
- Infections are notorious for increasing the number of white blood cells in the blood.
- Numerous cancer types can hamper blood cell generation in the bone marrow.
- Complete blood cell counts that show an increase in the number of less-developed white blood cells may indicate leukaemia.
- Low hemoglobin levels characterize conditions including anaemia and sickle cell disease.
Infection, anaemia, and some forms of blood cancer are among the most prevalent indications for a full blood count (FBC) analysis. This is one of the most common and frequently recommended hematology tests by specialists.
Red blood cells (RBC):
Erythrocytes, or red blood cells, transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body and carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs as a waste product. Anemia or another ailment could be the cause of a low RBC count. For men, 5–6 million cells/mcL is considered normal, while for women, 4–5 million cells/mcL is considered normal.
White blood cells:
White blood cells, often known as leukocytes, help the body fight against infections. They play a role in the body’s defense mechanism. They trigger the release of protective enzymes that work to eliminate pathogens. White blood cells (WBCs) are a diverse group of cells with specialized functions in the immune system’s defense against pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.
Elevated WBC counts indicate inflammation or infection in the body. Inadequate levels may put you at risk for infection. There should be between 4,500 and 10,000 cells per microliter (cells/mcL), the middle ground for normalcy.
An increase in the number of white blood cells (WBCs) can be caused by various factors and is medically referred to as leukocytosis. Leukocytosis, or an abnormally high white blood cell count, is typically categorized according to the type of white blood cell responsible for the increase.
Platelets, also known as thrombocytes, are specialized cell fragments that help the blood clot normally. Someone with low platelet counts may be more susceptible to severe bleeding and bruising. Excess platelets, or improperly functioning platelets, can lead to excessive clotting or haemorrhage. The CBC evaluates both the quantity and average size of blood cells. Generally, a count of 140,000 to 450,000 cells per microliter (mcL) is typical.
Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR):
A blood test called the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR or sed rate) evaluates inflammation in the body indirectly. The test involves placing a blood sample in a tall, thin, vertical tube and measuring how quickly the red blood cells in the sample fall to the bottom of the tube (a process called sedimentation). The clear fluid (plasma) measured in millimetres at the tube’s top after one hour is reported as a result.
Tissue damage and bleeding trigger the coagulation cascade, a series of events in which clotting factors work together to stop the bleeding and create a blood clot. The extrinsic, intrinsic, and shared routes make up this cascade.
Prothrombin time (PT), fibrinogen, activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), thrombin time, and D-Dimer is examples of common clotting assays. If abnormal clotting results are obtained that cannot be explained in a clinical setting, additional investigation by a Specialist Thrombosis and Haemostasis laboratory is required.
Clotting screening is a battery of tests recommended by a hematologist for blood clots administered before surgery to determine the likelihood of blood loss. It is also used to track the progress of bleeding disorders and certain treatments. The clotting times (PT and INR), coagulation times (APTT), and fibrinogen levels are all measured.
Bone marrow examination:
When a diagnosis cannot be made based on the patient’s symptoms and the results of blood tests, such as in the cases of leukocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, anaemia of unknown nature, pancytopenia, and monoclonal hypergammaglobulinemia, a bone marrow examination is performed to determine whether or not the disease has spread.
Hematological tests have a significant role in diagnosing and identifying blood-related conditions and aiding in treatment procedures. It’s important to visit a hematology hospital immediately if you notice any changes in your body that might indicate a blood disorder.