Leukemia is cancer in the blood cells that starts in the bone marrow, the soft tissue in which blood cells are produced. When a patient has leukemia, the bone marrow produces more white blood cells than normal, but they don’t function as normal white blood cells do. They grow faster and keep growing uncontrollably eventually causing problems such as bleeding, infections and anemia. Leukemia may even spread to lymph nodes or other organs that causes swelling and pain. There are different types of leukemia that depend on how fast the cells grow and what type of white blood cells are affected. The four main types of leukemia are:

  • Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
  • Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)
  • Chronic Lymphoblastic Leukemia (CLL)
  • Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)

Sample requirement

A blood sample is required to perform the complete blood count test. It is a simple process with only a momentary slight pain from the needle stick.

Method of test used

A complete blood count test is used to determine the cause of symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, bruising, and fever.

Result parameters

Normal Complete Blood Count results:

White Blood Cell Count (WBC, leukocyte): 5,000–10,000 WBCs per cubic millimeter (mm3) or 5.0–10.0 x 109 WBCs per liter (L)

White Blood Cell Types (WBC differential)

Neutrophils: 50-62%

Band neutrophils: 3-6%

Lymphocytes: 25-40%

Monocytes: 3-7%

Eosinophils: 0-3%

Basophils: 0-1%

Red Blood Cell Count (RBC)

Men: 4.5–5.5 million RBCs per microliter (mcL) or 4.5–5.5 x 1012/liter (L)

Women: 4.0–5.0 million RBCs per mcL or 4.0–5.0 x 1012/L

Children: 3.8–6.0 million RBCs per mcL or 3.8–6.0 x 1012/L

Hematocrit (HCT)

Men: 42%–52% or 0.42–0.52 volume fraction

Women: 36%–48% or 0.36–0.48 volume fraction

Children: 29%–59% or 0.29–0.59 volume fraction

Hemoglobin (Hgb)

Men: 14–17.4 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or 140–174 grams per liter (g/L)

Women: 12–16 g/dL or 120–160 g/L

Children: 9.5–20.5 g/dL or 95–205 g/L

Red Blood Cell Indices

Mean corpuscular volume (MCV): 84-96 femtoliters (fL)

Mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH): 28-34 picograms (pg) per cell

Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC): 32–36 grams per deciliter (g/dL)

Platelet (thrombocyte) count:

Adults:140,000–400,000 platelets per mm3 or 140–400 x 109/L

Children: 150,000–450,000 platelets per mm 3 or 150–450 x 109/L