Initial assessments with your treating team in the specialist clinics are Peter Mac includes taking full history and examination, investigations for staging of disease and assessing your organ function is adequate.
Preparation for a transplant can be daunting, tiring and lengthy. Many of the tests and procedures for a pre-transplant workup will be able to be done on the same day, however others will require several visits to the hospital. Your doctor and specialist nurses will plan your pre-treatment workup as best they can to minimise your stress and provide you with support. Your treating team will be able to advise you of any preparations you need to make beforehand and explain the tests and procedures in detail.
Some of the tests and procedures that you are likely to have as part of a pre-transplant work-up are:
- Chest X-ray
- Heart function tests (e.g. an ECG)
- CT scans
- PET scan
- Lung function tests
- Eye tests
- Bone density scan
- Urine collection
- Bone marrow biopsy
- Extensive infection screening
- Dental check
- Blood tests (including tests for kidney, liver and thyroid function, iron levels, clotting screen, blood glucose)
- Central Venous Access Device insertion (CVAD)
Central venous access device
Some tests, especially blood tests, will be repeated throughout the transplant to see how you are going. You will also need a number of intravenous therapies such as fluids, chemotherapy, antibiotics, blood and platelet transfusions and the stem cell transplant itself. For these reasons a central venous access device (CVAD) is inserted, usually into your chest. This will allow easy access and prevent the pain associated with frequent insertion into the smaller veins in your hand and arms. Your treating team will help you manage and care for your CVAD.
This content was adapted from the Leukaemia Foundation's Guides for Patient and Families.