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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Surgeries and Procedures > Bone Marrow Biopsy

Bone Marrow Biopsy

Alternate Names : Bone Marrow Aspiration

Overview & Description | Preparation & Expectations | Home Care and Complications

A bone marrow biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of cells are taken from the marrow of the pelvic bone.

Who is a candidate for the procedure?

A person may undergo a bone marrow biopsy in order to:

  • diagnose different types of leukemia when a blood test shows suspicious cell changes
  • follow the response to a leukemia treatment
  • help in diagnosis and treatment of certain other cancers
  • diagnose and monitor the treatment of certain noncancerous blood disorders
  • How is the procedure performed?

    First, the skin over the rear of the pelvic bone is cleansed. Local anesthesia is used to numb the area. Sometimes a drug is given intravenously to help calm the person having the procedure. A hollow stainless steel needle is inserted into the back part of the pelvic bone. Once it is inside the bone, a sample of the liquid marrow is drawn into the syringe.

    Sometimes a larger hollow needle is used to obtain a solid core specimen of marrow from the same area. No incision or sutures are needed. The sample taken is checked under a microscope for abnormal cells.


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    Bone Marrow Biopsy: Preparation & Expectations

    Author: David T. Moran, MD
    Reviewer: Melissa Sanders, PharmD
    Date Reviewed: 06/01/01

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