Approach to pancytopenia: Diagnostic algorithm for clinical hematologists

Blood Rev. 2018 Sep;32(5):361-367. doi: 10.1016/j.blre.2018.03.001. Epub 2018 Mar 5.


Pancytopenia is a relatively common phenomenon encountered in clinical practice. The evaluation of a patient with pancytopenia requires a comprehensive approach and identifying the underlying cause can be challenging given the wide range of etiologies including drugs, autoimmune conditions, malignancies, infections, hemophagocytosis, and inheritable conditions. Recent advances in molecular hematology which include genomic profiling and next-generation sequencing have helped gain major insights into various hematological conditions and can guide diagnosing specific diseases in a shorter time at lower costs. However the approach to manage patients with pancytopenia in the current era of genomics is not well defined in the literature and is widely variable in practice. Herein, we conducted a systematic review to help devise an algorithm and management approach for pancytopenia, which serves as a general consultative approach.

Keywords: Aplastic anemia; HLH; Megaloblastic anemia; NGS; PNH; Pancytopenia.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Management
  • Humans
  • Pancytopenia / diagnosis*
  • Pancytopenia / etiology
  • Pancytopenia / therapy
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Research