The bone marrow biopsy means the removal of the marrow from inside of the bone.
What is bone marrow:
Bone marrow is actually soft tissue inside. Its main function is to help in the blood cells formation. It is found in the hollow part of the bones.
A bone marrow biopsy can be done in the health care provider office or in a hospital as well. The sample taken may be taken from the pelvic or from the breast bone. However, in some cases other areas for extracting the sample are used..
Performing the test:
Following steps have to be taken in order to remove the bone marrow from the inside of bone:
- First of all you are given some medicine to make you relax. Medicine is not given in all cases, if is given if required or necessary.
- After that, the health care team members clean your skin and then inject the numbing medicine into area and surface of the bone.
- A thin and fine needle known as a biopsy needle is inserted into the bone. The center part of the needle is removed and then the hollowed needle is passed deeper into the bone. In this way it captures a small sample, core, of bone marrow with the needle which comes out within the needle.
- The sample along with the needle is removed from the bone.
- Pressure is applied on the bone and is followed by the bandage which is applied to the skin. From where the needle was inserted in to the bone
The bone marrow aspiration might also be done, usually before biopsy is done. After the skin being numbed, the biopsy needle is then inserted into the bone, and the syringe is used for the withdrawal of the liquid bone marrow. If this procedure is done , the needle will be removed and then repositioned. Sometimes another needle may be used for the biopsy.
Tell the health care provider:
Preparing for bone marrow biopsy test:
- It is checked whether you are allergic to any medicine or not.
- What medications you are already taking.
- It is checked whether you have bleeding problems or not.
- If you are pregnant or not
You have to sign the consent form before getting the bone marrow biopsy done.
How you feel during bone marrow biopsy:
You will experience a sharp sting like feeling when the numbing medicine will be injected to you. A biopsy needle may also cause a little, usually dull pain. As the inside of the bone is impossible to be numbed, such bone marrow biopsy test may cause you some discomfort.
If the bone marrow aspiration is also done along with bone marrow biopsy, then you will feel a brief, but the sharp pain when the the bone marrow liquid is removed.
Reason for performing the test:
The doctor may want to get this test done if you have some abnormal types or the abnormal numbers of red or white blood cells or even the platelets.
Bone marrow biopsy test is used to diagnose different types of cancer like leukemia, infections, some types of anemia as well, and some blood disorders too. It might also be used to help in the determination that whether the cancer has spread or responded to the treatment or not.
A normal result means to say that the bone marrow contains proper number and the proper types of blood forming called hematopoietic cells, the fat cells, and the connective tissues.
Interpretation of abnormal cells:
Abnormal results might be due to the cancers of the bone marrow like leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma, or some other types cancers.
These results might even detect the cause of anemia which is having too few red blood cells known as erythrocytes, the abnormal white blood cells, or the or thrombocytopenia which is having too few plateletsin the blood.
In addition some other are there for which the test may be performed:
- Disseminated coccidioidomycosis white is a bodywide fungal infection.
- Hairy cell leukemia.
- Hodgkinand non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Idiopathic aplastic anemia.
- Multiple myeloma.
- Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).
- Polycythemia vera.
- Primary amyloid.
- Primary myelofibrosis
- Primary thrombocythemia.
- Secondary aplastic anemia.
- Secondary systemic amyloid.
- Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia.
Risks of bone marrow biopsy:
There might be some risks or side effects of having bone marrow biopsy like bleeding at the puncture area where the biopsy needle was inserted in. There might be some more serious risks, like serious bleeding or infection may occur, however they are very rare.