Bone marrow biopsy, procedure, and interpretation of results

Bone marrow biopsy: procedure and interpretation of results

A bone marrow biopsy is a medical procedure to collect and examine a sample of bone marrow (spongy tissue inside the bones). Doctors may need a bone marrow biopsy if they suspect some types of cancer or blood diseases. In this article, learn about bone marrow biopsy, why it is performed, how, its harms, and the interpretation of the results of the biopsy in Turkey.

Bone marrow is a soft, spongy tissue inside the large bones of the body such as the hip bones. Bone marrow is made up of stem cells, which are large, primitive, undifferentiated cells that are the main constituent of blood and produce red and white blood cells and platelets, supported by fibrous tissue called the stroma.

A bone marrow biopsy (in English called bone marrow biopsy or bmb) is a medical examination used to assess the condition of the spongy tissue within the bones (bone marrow) that acts as a factory for blood cells. A bone marrow biopsy shows the condition of the bone marrow if it is healthy and produces normal amounts of blood cells or No, this procedure is used to detect blood diseases such as cancers and some types of fevers of unknown cause.

All components of blood are made in the bone marrow
An image that includes an anatomical and histological overview of the bone

What is a bone marrow biopsy?

In a bone marrow biopsy, a small sample of bone marrow is taken, usually from the pelvic bone (posterior iliac spine) and sometimes from the sternum.

To access the marrow, a special needle is inserted through the skin and into the bone. The bone marrow sample is examined under a microscope, to evaluate the appearance, size, shape, and numbers of cells in the bone marrow for abnormalities that indicate disease.

Why is a bone marrow biopsy performed?

If there is a disturbance in the numbers of hematopoietic cells in the analysis of the blood sample, a bone marrow biopsy is required.

A bone marrow biopsy is used to help the doctor diagnose some blood diseases before any changes appear in the blood samples. Bone marrow biopsies are routinely performed on cancer patients who undergo chemical treatments or radial. Doctors use bone marrow biopsy to diagnose many diseases, for example:

  • Leukemia, a cancer of the blood cells, arises from the bone marrow and causes a significant increase in a certain type of blood cell.
  •  Leukopenia due to a viral infection, fever of unknown cause, or a weakened immune system. or increase its number.
  • Multiple myeloma: an uncontrolled division of white blood cells.
  • Anemia is a lack of red blood cells.
  • Aplastic anemia is a condition in which the bone marrow stops producing new cells.
  •  Myelofibrosis: fibrous scar tissue replaces the bone marrow.
  • Thrombocytosis.
  • Bone marrow dysplasia syndrome, a condition in which stem cells do not mature properly.
  • Cancers of the lymph nodes (lymphoma) or  the breast or  lung These cancers may spread from different organs to the bone marrow.
  •  A bone marrow biopsy can be used to detect vitamin deficiencies as well as chromosomal abnormalities, which are conditions that cause disturbances in the shape of red blood cells.

 How is a bone marrow biopsy or biopsy performed?

Before performing a bone marrow biopsy

The doctor asks you about any drug allergies, to make sure that there are no problems or bleeding disorders (blood clots), to make sure that you are not pregnant.

A bone marrow biopsy is performed in a medical clinic or hospital, according to the following steps:

  • The patient is asked to lie on his side.
  • Clean the patient's skin with sterilizer.
  • The anesthetic is injected through the skin to the surface of the bones. Patients feel a sharp stinging when the anesthetic is injected.
  • A special hollow needle is inserted into the bone, leading to the bone marrow, through a syringe, a fluid sample is withdrawn (aspirated) from the bone marrow. This procedure is called aspiration bone marrow.
  • Unfortunately, the bone itself cannot be anesthetized, so the patient may feel pressure and pull during the procedure, causing discomfort to the patient.
  • The doctor inserts a special needle to remove a small piece of bone marrow biopsi (a sample) of bone marrow tissue. This procedure is called a bone marrow biopsy.
  • Pressure is applied to the patient's skin to stop the bleeding at the site of the needle entry, and a bandage is placed on the wound.
A bone marrow biopsy is taken from the anterior or posterior iliac crest, tibia, or sternum
A picture showing how a bone marrow biopsy is performed and the locations from which the biopsy is taken

After a bone marrow biopsy:

The patient returns home on the same day. The patient may experience mild pain or discomfort for a week in the sampling area. Analgesics are recommended. The wound should remain dry and covered for 24 hours.

What are the risks of a bone marrow biopsy?

A bone biopsy is considered a safe procedure and complications are rare. See a doctor in case: severe bleeding from the biopsy site, severe or diffuse redness, high temperature, severe increasing pain.

What after a bone marrow biopsy?

After the puncture, the bone marrow samples are sent to the laboratory to study and examine the results, and the results can be obtained within several days.

Hematologists and pathologists evaluate the condition of the bone marrow and help confirm or deny the diagnosis of a disease, determine the extent of the condition, and evaluate the effectiveness of a treatment.

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Common Questions

The biopsy is performed from large bones such as the iliac bone (iliac crest), or from the sternum (breastbone), shinbone (tibia), and the lumbar spine.

Bone biopsy is a safe procedure and complications are very rare Study The rate of complications after biopsy is low, and bleeding or bruising is the most common complication of bone marrow biopsy.

A special hollow needle is inserted into the bone, leading to the inside bones, by means of a syringe, the fluid sample is withdrawn (suction) from the bone marrow. This procedure is called aspiration bone marrow, or the doctor inserts a special needle with the aim of removing a small piece of bone marrow biopsi ( sample) of bone marrow tissue. This procedure is called a bone marrow biopsy.

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