Tests for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)

Your doctor may suspect or sometimes diagnose ALL from a blood test. You usually have a bone marrow test to confirm your diagnosis. You will also have other tests to find out more about the leukaemia. 

Blood tests for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)

There are different types of blood tests that you might have for ALL, find out what they are and how you have them.

Bone marrow test for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)

This test checks for cancer cells in the bone marrow. Find out what to expect.

Lumbar puncture for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)

A lumbar puncture checks whether leukaemia cells have spread to the spinal fluid around the brain and spinal cord. Find out more.

Chest x-ray for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)

An x-ray is a test that uses small doses of radiation to take pictures of the inside of your body. Find out what to expect when you have a chest x-ray.

CT scan for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)

You usually have a CT scan of your neck, chest, tummy (abdomen) and pelvis to check for abnormal areas. Find out what a CT scan is and how you have it. 

MRI scan for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)

Although rare, you might need an MRI scan if you have ALL such as if you have symptoms that suggest you have bleeding in the central nervous system (CNS). Find out what to expect.

Ultrasound scan for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)

You might have an ultrasound to check your lymph nodes, liver and spleen. Read about what happens.

Tissue typing for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)

This is a blood or saliva test to check your tissue type. Most adults with ALL at diagnosis have tissue typing in case they might ever need a bone marrow transplant from someone else (a donor transplant).

PET-CT scan for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)

A PET-CT scan in ALL is not routine, but you might need one. Find out how you have it and what happens after it.

Last reviewed: 
01 Jun 2021
Next review due: 
01 Jun 2024