B-cell leukemia/lymphoma panel is a test that looks for certain proteins on the surface of white blood cells called B-lymphocytes. The proteins serve as markers that may be helpful in diagnosing leukemia or lymphoma.
B lymphocyte cell surface markers
How the test is performed
A blood sample is needed. For information on how this is done, see: Venipuncture
Less commonly, white blood cells are removed during a bone marrow biopsy. The sample may also be taken during a lymph node biopsy or other biopsy when lymphoma is suspected.
The blood sample is sent to a laboratory, where a specialist checks the cell type and characteristics. This procedure is called immunophenotyping. The test is usually done using a technique called flow cytometry.
How to prepare for the test
No special preparation is usually necessary.
How the test will feel
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, you may feel moderate pain, or only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
Why the test is performed
This test may be performed:
- When other tests (such as a blood smear) show signs of abnormal white blood cells
- When leukemia or lymphoma is suspected
- To find out the type of leukemia or lymphoma
What abnormal results mean
- B-cell lymphocytic leukemia
What the risks are
Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Fainting or feeling light-headed
- Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
- Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
This special test may not be available at all laboratories.
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