Bone Marrow Aspiration
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How does it show?
This technique serves to study the bone marrow. It is essential for the diagnosis and monitoring of many blood diseases, as well as screening for other conditions. A bone marrow exam enables diagnosis of bone marrow or blood cell diseases such as leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma, myelodysplastic syndrome, as well as non-haematological diseases that may affect the bone marrow, such as tumours from other origins, deposit diseases, etc. Following treatment of these diseases, bone marrow exams also help to evaluate treatment efficacy.
How is it performed?
The area is sterilised with iodine and then local anaesthesia is applied. A fine needle puncture is then performed and the bone marrow (material from inside the bones) is aspirated. It is a simple technique that is usually practised on the hip bone (iliac crest) or the sternum. The aspirated material is subjected to different diagnostic procedures such as smears to assess cell morphology, microbiological cultures, immunophenotyping techniques, cytogenetic and molecular studies.
Aspiration and biopsy are simple techniques that are performed as out-patient procedures (they do not require admission to hospital) and under local anaesthesia and/or sedation. The total duration of the procedure is approximately 30 minutes, and at the end the patient can go home, needing only minor oral analgesia in case of local discomfort. A small bruise may occur at the puncture site, but this is not common.