Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy

What is bone marrow?

The soft material in the center of bones is the bone marrow. The bone marrow contains the different types of cells that give rise to red cells, white cells and platelets found in our blood. The marrow may also contain abnormal cells, proteins, or inflammatory processed that are not normally present, such as cancer cells. Since the production of red cells requires iron, the marrow is one of the places in the body that normally stores a supply of iron. When we are younger, our bone marrow contains very little fat. As we age, the percentage of fat in our marrow increases.

What is a bone marrow procedure?

A bone marrow procedure (commonly referred to as a bone marrow or bone marrow aspiration with or without biopsy) is a technique used to obtain the blood-forming portion (marrow) of the inner core of bone for examination in the laboratory or for transplantation. The bone marrow consists of inserting a special needle into a bone and withdrawing the marrow by suction or coring out a sample of the marrow.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/10/2014

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Bone Marrow Biopsy - Indication Question: Why did doctors perform your bone marrow aspiration? Describe your experience, please.