Usefulness of Conducting a Bone Marrow Examination

Bone marrow examination describes the pathologic analysis of bone marrow samples that are obtained through bone marrow aspiration and bone marrow biopsy (sometimes known as a trephine biopsy). This examination is utilized for diagnosis of various conditions like pancytopenia, anemia, multiple myeloma and leukemia. Moreover, the bone marrow is responsible for producing cellular elements of blood like the white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Though majority of information can be collected through blood tests (obtained from a vein through phlebotomy), at times it becomes essential to conduct examination of the source of blood cells present in the bone marrow. Therefore, more information can be obtained on hematopoiesis.  

A bone marrow examination includes trephine biopsy and aspiration. These tests are generally conducted on the posterior iliac crest or back of hipbone. However, you can also obtain an aspirate from the breastbone (sternum). Besides this, a trephine biopsy must not be performed over the sternum because of the risk of injury to heart, lungs or blood vessels.

A needle is utilized for bone marrow aspiration (including a removable stylet). Generally, aspirate is conducted first. The procedure involves the insertion of an aspirate needle through your skin till it touches the bone. Later, the needle is introduced through the bony cortex into marrow cavity where a syringe is attached. This syringe is utilized for aspiration of liquid bone marrow. Afterwards, the biopsy is conducted if so indicated. If many samples are collected, the needle is removed in between the samples for avoiding coagulation of blood. This examination is completely avoided if the patient is suffering from a severe bleeding disorder.
 


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