Bone Marrow Biopsy

A bone marrow biopsy is the removal of a sample of bone marrow for testing. The procedure is most often done on the pelvic bone. It may also be done on the sternum.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After you are home, contact your doctor if any of the following occur:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the biopsy site
    • Nausea and/or vomiting
    • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
    • Joint pain, fatigue, stiffness, rash, or other new symptoms

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition


    A bone marrow
    biopsy
    is the removal of a sample of bone marrow for testing. The procedure is most often done on the pelvic bone. It may also be done on the sternum.

    Bone Marrow Biopsy
    Bone biopsy
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    A bone marrow biopsy may be done to:


    • Evaluate a
      low red blood cell count (
      anemia
      ), low white blood cell count (leucopenia), or low platelet count (thrombocytopenia)

    • Diagnose and stage
      lymphoma
      or solid tumors

    • Diagnose, monitor, and evaluate
      leukemias
    • Evaluate iron level problems
    • Evaluate for causes of unexplained spleen enlargement—splenomegaly
    • Evaluate other blood disorders or diseases that may affect the bone marrow

  • Possible Complications

    Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have this procedure, your doctor will review a list of possible complications which may include:

    • Infection
    • Bleeding

    Some risk factors for complications during this procedure include:

    • Bleeding disorders
    • Infection of the skin at the biopsy site
    • Infection in the bloodstream

    • Prior
      radiation treatment
      to the biopsy site

    • Severe
      osteoporosis