How Can Pancytopenia Affect CBC Test Results?


Quick Answer

Pancytopenia affects CBC, or complete blood cell count, by lowering it, according to the Journal of Laboratory Physicians and Mayo Clinic. A complete blood cell count measures, among other things, the amount of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets, according to Mayo Clinic. Pancytopenia is a decrease in all of these levels.

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Full Answer

Pancytopenia is not a disease in itself but is a symptom of several conditions, according to the Journal of Laboratory Physicians. It is a side affect of certain drugs as well as a complication of leukemia, anemia and other conditions. The way to treat pancytopenia depends on the underlying cause and how severe it is.

Patients who suffer from pancytopenia have symptoms of fever and weakness, says the Journal of Laboratory Physicians. They may also have an enlarged liver and an enlarged spleen. Blood cell counts find lower-than-normal levels of hemoglobin, leukocytes and platelets. When the patient's bone marrow is examined, megaloblastic anemia or aplastic anemia are typically identified as the two greatest causes of their pancytopenia.

Megaloblastic anemia is caused when abnormal blood cells cannot carry oxygen the way normal red blood cells do, according to Healthline. In this case, the blood cells are abnormally large. In aplastic anemia, the bone marrow stops making blood cells altogether.

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