Hematology is the study of blood including the blood forming organs, their pathologies and the study of the diseases. Hematology testing is used in a variety of settings, from initial screening up to most complicated hematological diseases, providing an overview about cell count, differentiation and maturation status of blood cells.
Hematology laboratory assay results help predict, diagnose, establish the prognosis for, and monitor the treatment for a variety of medical disorders (Rodak, 4th edition Hematology Clinical Principles and Applications).
The most common test is the complete blood count (CBC), used for general screening and includes at least the following parameter: RBC count, HGB concentration, RBC indices, PLT and WBC count.
CBC is used in conjunction with the WBC differential which provides more detailed information about the WBC distribution in peripheral blood. When it comes to diagnosis, cell morphology is a key contributor, as cell size or cell appearance may represent a characteristic pattern for certain diseases (such as sickle cell anemia, chronic lymphatic leukemia, assessment of anemia types).