Bone Marrow Biopsy
Bone Marrow Biopsy Introduction
Bone marrow is the spongy material found in the center of most large bones in the body. The different cells that make up blood are made in the bone marrow. Bone marrow produces red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Along with a biopsy (the sampling of mostly solid tissue or bone), an aspiration (the sampling of mostly liquid) is often done at the same time.
- Why the procedure is performed: A bone marrow aspiration and biopsy procedure is done for many reasons.
- The test allows the doctor to evaluate bone
marrow function. It may aid in the diagnosis of low numbers of red blood cells (anemia), low numbers of white blood cells (leukopenia), or low numbers of platelets (thrombocytopenia), or a high number of these types of blood cells.
- The doctor can also determine the cause of some infections, diagnose tumors, determine how far a disease, such as lymphoma, has progressed, and evaluate the effectiveness of chemotherapy or other bone marrow active drugs.
- Where the procedure is performed: Bone marrow aspirations and biopsies can be performed in doctor's offices, outpatient clinics, and hospitals. The procedure itself takes 10 to 20 minutes.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/15/2012
Darilyn Campbell Falck, MD
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