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Hematology

What is hematology?

Hematology is the study of blood and blood disorders. Hematologists and hematopathologists are specially trained doctors who specialize in diseases of the blood and blood components, including blood and bone marrow cells. Hematological tests can help diagnose anemia, infection, hemophilia, blood-clotting disorders, and leukemia.

What is the difference between a hematologist and a hematopathologist?

Common hematology tests

Test

Uses

Complete blood count (CBC), which includes:

  • White blood cell count (WBC)

  • Red blood cell count (RBC)

  • Platelet count

  • Hematocrit red blood cell volume (HCT)

  • Hemoglobin concentration (HB). This is the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells.

  • Differential white blood count

  • Red blood cell indices (measurements) 

To aid in diagnosing anemia, certain cancers of the blood, inflammatory diseases, and to monitor blood loss and infection

Platelet count (usually done as part of the CBC) 

To diagnose and/or to monitor certain types of bleeding and clotting disorders

Prothrombin time (PT)

Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT)

International Normalized Ratio (INR) 

To evaluate bleeding and clotting disorders and to monitor anticoagulation (anticlotting) therapies

Bone marrow biopsy is not a common test in general, but is a common test for hematologists. It involves taking cells from the bone marrow for analysis for many types of disease.