Bone marrow biopsy

Biopsy - bone marrow

A bone marrow biopsy is the removal of marrow from inside bone. Bone marrow is the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells. It is found in the hollow part of most bones.

Bone marrow biopsy is not the same as bone marrow aspiration. An aspiration removes a small amount of marrow in liquid form for examination.

Bone marrow aspiration

A small amount of bone marrow is removed during a bone marrow aspiration. The procedure is uncomfortable, but can be tolerated by both children and adults. The marrow can be studied to determine the cause of anemia, the presence of leukemia or other malignancy, or the presence of some "storage diseases" in which abnormal metabolic products are stored in certain bone marrow cells.

Bone biopsy

A bone biopsy is performed by making a small incision into the skin. A biopsy needle retrieves a sample of bone and it is sent for examination. The most common reasons for bone lesion biopsy are to distinguish between benign and malignant bone tumors, and to identify other bone abnormalities. Bone biopsy may also be performed to determine the cause of bone pain and tenderness.

How the Test is Performed

How to Prepare for the Test

How the Test will Feel

Why the Test is Performed

Normal Results

What Abnormal Results Mean

Risks