Bone Marrow Biopsy and Aspiration

Doctors use bone marrow tests to diagnose blood and bone marrow diseases and conditions, including:

  • Conditions in which a person produces too few or too many of certain types of blood cells
  • Problems with the structure of red blood cells
  • Bone marrow disorders, such as myelofibrosis
  • Some cancers, such as leukemia

Bone marrow tests also help doctors figure out the severity of your cancer and how much it has spread, as well as to diagnose fevers and infections. These tests are called aspiration and biopsy.

Bone marrow aspiration is usually performed first. Your doctor removes a small sample of fluid bone marrow through a needle, which gives a lot of information about the cells in the marrow.

A bone marrow biopsy is the follow up test. It’s done to provide more information about your cells. Also, a biopsy is done if your doctor wants to examine the bone marrow structure itself. For this test, your doctor uses a needle to remove a sample of bone marrow tissue to examine in detail.