Q:

How do you interpret and pursue abnormal complete blood cell counts in adults?

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Quick Answer

Almost 10 to 20 percent of complete blood cell count tests show abnormal results. This can be due to various conditions such as anemia and chronic myeloid leukemia. For each condition, the relevant treatment must be pursued, states Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

From a complete blood count, a transferrin saturation level of 20 percent or less and a ferritin level of less than 200 nanograms per liter indicates anemia of chronic disease, or ACD. ACD can be mitigated by administering anti-inflammatory medicines. Iron supplements, folic acid, vitamin B-12 pills and consumption of beans, fish, chicken and turkey improve the anemic condition, according to the National Institutes of Health.

If the CBC shows high levels of immature white blood cells and increased platelet count with the presence of the Philadelphia chromosome, it suggests that the patient may have chronic myelogenous leukemia, states National Institutes of Health. The condition can be treated with chemotherapy or cured by stem cell transplant.

Essential thrombocythemia can be diagnosed by identifying the platelet count, iron levels and any platelet abnormalities and treatment options pursued with a bone marrow biopsy, according to Mayo Clinic. Drugs such as anagrelide, hydroxyurea and interferon alfa-2B decrease the platelet count and help alleviate any complications.

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