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Pediatric Blood Diseases

Pediatric Hematology Testing & Diagnosis

University Health offers comprehensive testing to diagnose your child’s blood condition. Pinpointing the problem will help us determine the best treatment for your child.

University Health providers are experts in interpreting complex blood test results. Our hematologists will get the most precise information from your child’s test results, enabling them to make an accurate diagnosis. 

Tests We Offer

Newborn screening: Your doctor may test for sickle cell disease shortly after your baby is born. 

Genetic testing: We may conduct genetic tests if your child has signs of certain conditions. This will help us find genetic abnormalities that could cause the symptoms. Our lab can provide genetic confirmation, and our genetic counselors can interpret the results of these tests.

Sickle cell stroke screening: This is a painless ultrasound for children ages 2 to 16 with sickle cell disease. The screen measures how quickly blood passes through blood vessels in the brain. It can detect narrowed blood vessels where sickle-shaped cells may become stuck and lead to a stroke. The ultrasound identifies children who have a higher risk of stroke. 

Also called a Transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasound, doctors strongly recommend your child get this every year. 

Read a story published in The New York Times about one family’s experience with this preventive stroke screen at University Health.

Anemias: We can conduct blood tests, such as the peripheral blood smear, to diagnose anemias in children. Our new hemolytic anemia panel helps us diagnose genetic causes of hemolytic anemia.

Replacement factor recovery testing: Each patient with hemophilia needs different replacement factor doses. Replacement factor recovery testing checks a patient’s level to see what dose they need and how often they need it. This testing requires a very specific skillset, available at few health systems in the country.

Musculoskeletal ultrasound: Our South Texas Comprehensive Hemophilia Treatment Center offers musculoskeletal ultrasound. This ultrasound is available at few other hemophilia treatment centers in the country. 

Our providers assess your child’s joints, allowing them to detect a joint bleed or other problems. 

How to Prepare for an Appointment

Your child’s hematologist will ask questions about symptoms your child has been experiencing. Keep a log of your child’s symptoms and a list of medications, including supplements, to bring to the appointment. 

Some of the pediatric hematologist’s questions may include:

  • What are your child’s symptoms? 
  • When did you first notice these symptoms?
  • Has your child experienced any unusual bleeding from minor injuries, like a cut or shot?
  • Does your child get unusual bruises after minor injuries?
  • Does your child have frequent nosebleeds?
  • Has your child had blood in their urine or bowel movements?
  • Does your child complain about heat or pain in their joints?

Answers to these questions, along with test results, will help your child’s hematologist make a diagnosis. 

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