Pediatric Cancer Diagnosis

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Services at Nicklaus Children's Hospital is a state-of-the-art facility that serves as the leading provider of pathological and laboratory services for children in the region. It offers highly sophisticated testing to support the diagnosis of cancer and ongoing evaluation of children with cancer and blood disorders. Each of the pathologists on staff has particular expertise in diagnosing cancer in children.

Pathology and Laboratory Services

Cytogenetics and flow cytometry are among the advanced laboratory services essential to the study and diagnosis of cancer that are offered at Nicklaus Children's Hospital. Cytogenetics is the study of chromosomes and related diseases that are caused by chromosome abnormalities.

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Services offers a comprehensive list of cytogenetic tests for cancer diagnosis, including routine chromosome analysis (karyotyping) of peripheral blood, bone marrow and other tissue. In addition, the department offers an extensive array of fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) testing. FISH tests introduce fluorescently labeled DNA probes to detect or confirm gene or chromosome abnormalities that are beyond the scope of routine cytogenetics. Flow cytometry involves analysis of specimens in a flow cytometer to evaluate blood malignancies and immunological abnormalities.

Radiology Diagnostic and Follow-up Services

The Department of Radiology at Nicklaus Children's Hospital offers a level of experience that makes it a regional leader in pediatric cancer diagnosis and follow-up evaluation
The department features state-of-the-art equipment, including

Our cutting edge CT and MR images allow complete follow-up imaging in a single sitting. MR spectroscopy and perfusion imaging allows for further tissue characterization.

The department is one of only four pediatric centers in the U.S. performing MIBG nuclear medicine scans and PET scans. Our staff of 16 pediatric radiologists has an unparalleled level of experience in radiological evaluation of infants and children.

CD34 Test

CD34 is an antigen on the surface of a very early blood cell that is important in the formation of the bone marrow.

Complete Blood Count

A complete blood count is a common blood test that’s often taken during physicals or other medical checkups. It provides an evaluation of overall health, and also checks for certain disorders such as infection, anemia, leukemia, immune system disorders and other diseases.

CT Scan (Computed Tomography)

Computed tomography is a medical imaging test that can be used as a diagnostic tool for a wide variety of medical conditions. It involves taking pictures of sections or slices of the body, layer by layer, to get a complete picture of an area of the body.

Cytogenetic Testing: Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization (FISH) Testing

The FISH test is a blood test that “maps” the genetic material in a child’s cells looking for gene abnormalities which can give rise to developmental delays, autism, mental retardation and other rare genetic disorders that sometimes occur at birth.

Cytogenetic Testing: Routine Chromosome Analysis (Karyotype)

A chromosomal analysis or karyotyping is a test which examines the number and structure of your child's chromosomes. This test helps in the diagnosis of genetic diseases, some birth defects and certain abnormalities of the blood.

Factor Levels and Inhibitor Panels

Factor levels are common blood tests done to determine which protein is deficient and the severity of the deficiency.

Flow Cytometry

Flow cytometry is a cutting edge medical test that uses a technique known as immunophenotyping. This technique is used to diagnose leukemias, lymphomas and immune system disorders.

High-resolution brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

A brain magnetic resonance imaging test is a medical procedure used to take pictures of the brain. It differs from CT scans in that it does not use radiation.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

Magnetic resonance imaging is a common imaging test used to give medical professionals a closer look at organs or structures inside the body. The images are created using magnetic and radio waves.

Nuclear Medicine Tests

Nuclear medicine is a type of imaging that uses small, safe amounts of radioactive medicine to diagnose, treat and track the treatment of diseases.

PET Scan

A Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan is a type of camera that is used along with a Computed Tomography (CT) scan to take detailed pictures inside the body.

PK Test

A PK test is a test of the content of pyruvate kinase within the blood. It’s used as a diagnostic tool for certain medical conditions, including some types of anemia.

Single Photon Emission Computerized Tomography

Single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) is a nuclear imaging test that shows brain/other organ function by measuring blood flow in the brain/organ.

Stimate Challenge Test

A Stimate challenge test is a medical test to ensure that Stimate will be able to successfully stop bleeding in a patient with von Willebrand disease.

Transcranial Doppler Study

A transcranial Doppler study is an ultrasound that is used to view and examine the circulation of blood in and around the brain.


An ultrasound is a large camera that helps doctors understand more about the tissues and organs inside the body. These painless exams help doctors see images in further detail.