Understanding Bone Marrow Aspiration & Biopsy

Blood disorders can sometimes prove to be fatal. Cancer or certain kind of infections can sometimes reach the bone marrow. Diagnostic tests like bone marrow aspiration or bone marrow biopsy can be useful in finding the reasons for such conditions.

It is important to understand the difference between bone marrow aspiration and bone marrow biopsy. In simple words, Bone marrow aspiration involves the removal of a small amount of bone marrow fluid and blood cells by passing a needle into a bone. These fluids and cells are further checked for particular kinds of infection or any existing chromosomal problems. You can also look for geneticistinc to know more about bone marrow biopsy.

A bone marrow biopsy involves the removal of a small amount of bone along with a small amount of fluid and cells from inside the bone (bone marrow). The fluid is drawn first followed by a biopsy. It is useful for medical procedures like stem cell transplant or chromosomal analysis. For a stem cell transplant, this test is conducted 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.

A bone marrow aspiration and biopsy can be done at your doctor’s clinic or a hospital. A hematologist, medical oncologist, internist, or pathologist, or specially trained technologist usually conducts this test. 

It is a complicated test and is not advised for patients who consume blood thinners. However, if you are facing recurrent bouts of infections within your body, then a sensitivity or a culture test of bone marrow can be used to provide accurate guidance in defining a treatment plan. If in case, you still have any confusion then it is best to discuss them with your doctor, before you finally opt to go for the examination procedure.

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