Blood and marrow transplant tests

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Learn about the medical tests your child takes after a blood and marrow transplant.

Key points

  • After the blood and marrow transplant, your child's vital signs and weight will be monitored closely and blood work will be done daily.
  • Children with immune deficiencies will also undergo immune tests to measure the amount of lymphocytes they have and how well the lymphocytes function.

After your child's blood and marrow transplant (BMT), he will undergo several tests. These will be part of your child's daily routine.

Vital signs

The doctor will have to check your child’s most basic body functions, called vital signs. This includes checking your child’s:

  • heart rate
  • blood pressure
  • body temperature
  • breathing rate

How often will your child’s vital signs be checked?

Usually, the doctor checks your child’s vital signs about every four hours.


After the transplant, your child retains a lot of fluid that can interfere with their breathing and the way their heart functions. Monitoring your child’s weight is an easy way to see if your child is retaining any fluid. It also helps to track your child’s nutritional status.

The nurse will weigh your child at least once a day, often in the morning.

Blood work

Your child’s nurse will draw blood from your child’s central venous line, every day, usually in the early morning. The transplant team needs to look at the results early and decide about any treatments your child may need that day.

Immune Tests

Children with immune deficiencies usually have very low white blood cells, called lymphocytes, which fight against infection. Since the transplant procedure itself weakens the child’s immune system, children with immune deficiencies need to be monitored closely.

Your child’s immunologist will check your child’s immune system by testing their blood to look for:

  • the amount of lymphocytes your child has
  • how well the lymphocytes function.

Generally, the amount of lymphocytes will eventually increase after a successful transplant.

However, doctors will start the immune tests once your child stops taking medicines to prevent an immune complication called graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). All children take medicines to lower the risk of developing GVHD. Doctors will begin immune tests once this preventative measure is weaned off.

Last updated: January 6th 2010