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Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy

What Affects the Test

You may not be able to have the test if you:

  • Have bleeding problems or are taking blood thinners such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), or warfarin (Coumadin).
  • Can't be still during the procedure.

Sometimes not enough bone marrow fluid is collected in a bone marrow aspiration. This is called a dry tap. If this happens, a biopsy to obtain bone marrow tissue is usually done.

What To Think About

  • If you have an infection, a culture and sensitivity test of the bone marrow sample can be done. If the infection is caused by a bacteria or fungus, the sensitivity test will show which antibiotics will work best to treat the infection.
  • Normal bone marrow in one site does not mean that all sites in the body are normal.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerBrian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology
Last RevisedNovember 19, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 19, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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