PANCE Blueprint Hematology (3%)

PANCE Blueprint Hematology (3%)

PANCE Blueprint Hematology (3%)

Follow along with the NCCPA™ PANCE and PANRE Hematology Content Blueprint

  • 23 PANCE and PANRE Hematology Content Blueprint Lessons (see below)
  • Hematology Exam - 39 Questions (members only)
  • Hematology Pearls Flashcards (members only)
  • Hematology high-yield summary tables
  • ReelDX™ integrated video content (available to paid subscribers)


  1. Hematology Flashcards (Members Only)

  2. Hematology Comprehensive Exam

  3. Anemias (PEARLS)

    1. Anemia of chronic disease

      Normal or ↓ MCV, ↓  TIBC, ↑ Ferritin (high iron stores) ↓ serum erythropoietin
      • Normochromic/microcytic (normocytic initially)
      • Diagnosis generally requires the presence of chronic infection
      • ↓ serum erythropoietin levels in anemia of renal failure
    2. Aplastic Anemia

      The only anemia where all three cell lines are decreased ↓ WBC, ↓ RBC, ↓ Platelets - will have normal MCV and ↓ Retic
      • Diagnostic studies: Pancytopenia
    3. Folate deficiency

      ↓ Folate, ↑ MCV (macrocytic anemia) looks like B12 but no neurologic symptoms
      • Population: Alcoholics
      • Megaloblastic anemia, elevated homocysteine
    4. Hemolytic anemia

      • Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (+ Direct Coombs Test) -  ↑ Retic, ↑ LDH, ↓ Haptoglobin, and ↑ Bilirubin (indirect) 
      • Hereditary Spherocytosis (+) osmotic fragility test.  Retic, ↑ LDH, ↓ Haptoglobin, and ↑ Bilirubin (indirect) and presence of spherocytes
      1. G6PD deficiency

        After infection or medication (oxidative stress) in an African American male (x-linked) + Heinz Bodies and Bite Cells on smear (damaged hemoglobin - G6PD protects RBC membrane) 
      2. Sickle cell anemia (ReelDx)

        Very High Retic count + Pain in African American male, +  Sickled cells on peripheral smear + Diagnosis requires (+) HgbS on hemoglobin electrophoresis is definitive, howell-Jolly bodies, target cells
      3. Thalassemia

        Very ↓ MCV (microcytic and hypochromic) with a normal TIBC, Ferritin and ↑ elevated iron, normal to ↓ Retic count and a (+) HB Electrophoresis. Family history of blood cell disorder
    5. ↓ MCV (microcytic), ↓ MCH (hypochromic), ↑ TIBC, ↓ Ferritin (best test, low iron stores), Target cells, pica and nail spooning
    6. Vitamin B12 deficiency

      ↑ MCV (macrocytic anemia), Hypersegmented Neutrophils and normal folate, decreased vibratory and position sense
      • Etiology: Pernicious anemia (antibody to intrinsic factor), gastrectomy, vegans
      • Smooth beefy, sore tongue and neurologic symptoms (poor balance, low proprioception)
      • Schilling test (pernicious anemia) less than 10% radiolabeled vitamin B12 in urine. Normal results when repeated with administration of intrinsic factor.
  4. Coagulation Disorders (PEARLS)

    1. Clotting factor disorders

      Von Willebrand Disease (vWD)
      • Most common genetic bleeding disorder, autosomal dominant
      • ↑ PTT, prolonged bleeding time, ↓ Willebrand factor
      • Patients may present with excessive bleeding after a cut, or increased menstrual bleeding. 
      • Treat with DDAVP (desmopressin)
      Hemophilia is a hereditary bleeding disorder caused by a deficiency in one of two blood clotting factors: VIII or IX.  Presents with spontaneous hemarthrosis, ↑ aPTT and normal platelet count and function
      • Hemophilia A, which accounts for about 80% of all cases, is a deficiency in clotting factor VIII
      • Hemophilia B is a deficiency in clotting factor IX (Christmas disease)
    2. Hypercoagulable states

    3. Thrombocytopenia

      1. Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ReelDx)

        Autoimmune reaction to platelets usually after a viral illness (ITP is insidious and chronic)
        • Diagnosis of exclusion
          • Associated with HIV, HCV, SLE, CLL
          • CBC normal except low platelets.  (+ Direct Coombs Test)
      2. Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)

        Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (TTP):↓ Platelets + anemia + schistocytes (RBC fragments) on smear and (-) Coombs test
        • After drugs: Quinidine, cyclosporine & pregnancy
          • Inhibition of ADAMTS13
        • Presentation: Adults
          • Purpura and “FAT RN”- Fever, Anemia, Thrombocytopenia, Renal failure, Neurological symptoms
        • Diagnostic studies: CBC normal except ↓ PlateletsSchistocytes (RBC fragments) on smear
        Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS): ↓ Platelets + anemia + renal failure (associated with E.coli O157: H7 and diarrheal illness in child)
        • Post-infection: E.coli or Shigella
        • Children, severe kidney problems
  5. Hematologic Malignancies (PEARLS)

    1. Acute and chronic lymphocytic leukemia

      Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)CHILD + Lymphadenopathy + bone pain + bleeding + fever in a CHILD, bone marrow > 20% blasts in bone marrow
      • Population: Children - most common childhood malignancy peak age 3-7
      • Highly responsive to chemotherapy (remission > 90%)
      Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)Middle age patient, often asymptomatic (seen on blood tests), fatigue, lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly
      • Population: Adults - most common form of leukemia in adults - peak age 50 y/o
      • Diagnostic studies: SMUDGE CELLS on peripheral smear, mature lymphocytes
      • Treatment with observation, if lymphocytes are > 100,000 or symptomatic treat with chemo
    2. Acute and chronic myelogenous leukemia

      Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML): BLASTS + AUER RODS  in ADULT PATIENT
      • Population: Adults (80%) majority of patients > 50 y/o
      • Anemia, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia. Splenomegaly, gingival hyperplasia and Leukostasis (WBC > 100,000)
      • Aur Rods and > 20% blasts seen in bone marrow
      Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML): Strikingly Increased WBC count > 100,000 + hyperuricemia + Adult patient (usually > 50 years old)
      • Population: Adults - patient usually > 50 y/o
      • 70% asymptomatic until patient has blastic crisis (acute leukemia) 
      • Diagnostic studies: Philadelphia chromosome (translocation of chromosome 9 and 22) - "Philadelphia Creacheese", splenomega
    3. Lymphoma (ReelDx)

      Hodgkin's Lymphomapainless lymphadenopathy + bimodal age distribution (15-35) and (>60)
      • Fever, chills, and night sweats for > 1 month. Painless enlarged posterior cervical and supraclavicular lymph nodes Virchow’s nodeCXR - mediastinal adenopathy. Excisional biopsy of lymph node shows Reed-Sternberg cells
      Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
      • Look for an immunocompromised (HIV) Patient with GI symptoms and painless peripheral lymphadenopathy
    4. Multiple myeloma

      Older patient + bone and back pain refractory to treatments 1. Presentation: “CRAB”- Calcium elevation, renal failure, anemia and bone lesions 2. Findings:
      • Urinalysis: Monoclonal proteinuria (Bence Jones Protein)
      • Blood smear: Rouleaux formation (stacked RBCs)
      • Radiograph: X-ray showing lytic "punched-out" bone lesions of skull, spine, long bones
      • Serum/Urine electrophoresisMonoclonal (M protein) Spike (IgG or IgA)
      • Bone marrow biopsy: > 10% clonal plasma cells