Bone Marrow Aspirate and Biopsy

The bone marrow is the origin of the blood forming elements including red cells, white cells and the cells that form platelets (megakaryocytes). In order to accurately diagnosis disorders such as leukemia or processes that are considered precursors to leukemia (e.g., myelodysplasia), examination of the bone marrow is often necessary. The best site to attain bone marrow material is in the back of the pelvis (superior iliac crest) and both a liquid sample (bone marrow aspirate) and a small piece of bone (bone marrow biopsy) should be attained for the most optimal specimen. The bone marrow aspirate and biopsy can be a challenging procedure to perform. Pathologists, diagnostic radiologists and oncologists are often the physicians who perform these procedures. Before the procedure is performed, it is important to know what specialized testing may be needed. The pathologist and histology laboratory are important resources for patient’s undergoing bone marrow aspiration and biopsy for both getting the procedure scheduled if the pathologist will be performing and for ordering the appropriate specialized tests which can include genetic analysis, fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) procedures and/or flow cytometry. The pathologists with The Pathology Group are experienced with all the tests for accurate diagnosis of bone marrow specimens and can also perform the procedure either by using local anesthetic or conscious sedation with the assistance of an anesthesiologist at the procedure center in the hospital.

Hospital Pathologist | Lab Community Hospital | Grand Junction, CO