A bone marrow examination is advised if it is needed to reach a more precise diagnosis for blood disorders.
What is bone marrow?
Bone marrow is the part of the body that develops blood cells and is located inside the bone.
Why is it necessary carry out tests on bone marrow?
When examining blood disorders, carrying out a blood test is often the easiest way to identify abnormalities. In some cases, however, it is not possible to establish a diagnosis without carrying out a bone marrow examination. This type of examination has two different forms:
a) bone marrow aspiration, when cells are removed from the bone marrow and the sample is then sent for testing
b) bone marrow biopsy, where the bone marrow tissue is processed in addition to examining the cells
In most cases, only a biopsy is sufficient to establish a diagnosis and begin treatment.
Bone marrow examination and biopsy process
For bone marrow examinations, the patient receives an anesthetic via injection, significantly reducing the pain typically associated with this type of testing. If the patient wishes, he or she can also undergo the test under general anesthetic to ensure a completely painless procedure. The patient is able to get up and move around shortly after the completion of the examination. Complications associated with bone marrow extraction are very rare. We also use anesthetic for a bone marrow biopsy, which allows access to a sample extracted from the hip bone. Following this procedure, a short period of bed rest is advised, while painkillers can also be provided if necessary. In rare cases the patient may experience bleeding or infection around the site of the procedure, though these symptoms usually pass of their own accord or with appropriate medical intervention.