Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy
A bone marrow
biopsy removes a small amount of bone and a small
amount of fluid and cells from inside the bone (bone marrow). A
bone marrow aspiration removes only the marrow. These tests are often done to
find the reason for many blood disorders and may be used to find out if cancer
or infection has spread to the bone marrow.
- Bone marrow aspiration
removes a small amount of bone marrow fluid and cells through a needle put into
a bone. The bone marrow fluid and cells are checked for problems with any of
the blood cells made in the bone marrow. Cells can be checked for chromosome
problems. Cultures can also be done to look for infection.
- A bone marrow biopsy removes bone with the
marrow inside to look at under a microscope. The aspiration (taking fluid) is
usually done first, and then the biopsy.
A bone marrow aspiration can also be done to collect bone
marrow for medical procedures, such as
stem cell transplant or
chromosomal analysis. For a stem cell transplant, bone
marrow aspiration will be done at several places on the body (generally from
the back of the pelvic bone) to remove enough bone marrow cells for the
transplant to work.
Why It Is Done
bone marrow aspiration, biopsy, or both are done
- Look for the cause of problems with
red blood cells,
white blood cells, or
platelets in people who have conditions such as
anemia, or an abnormal white blood cell
- Find blood disorders, such as
anemias, or problems that affect the bone marrow, such
multiple myeloma or
- Check to see if a known cancer, such as
Hodgkin's lymphoma or
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, has spread to the bone marrow. This is part of what is called
staging. It is done to find out if the cancer has
spread and how much it has spread. This helps plan cancer treatment.
- Find infections or tumors that may start in or spread to
the bone marrow. If you have an infection, a
culture and sensitivity test of the bone marrow sample
may be used to find out which
antibiotics will work best to treat the
- Find the best treatment for a bone marrow problem. Once
treatment has been started, a bone marrow aspiration and biopsy may be done to
see if the leukemia cells are gone, which means the treatment is
- Collect a sample of bone marrow for medical procedures,
such as stem cell transplantation or chromosomal analysis.