Bone marrow biopsy and bone marrow aspiration offer detailed information about the condition of your bone marrow and blood cells.

Your doctor may order a bone marrow exam if blood tests are abnormal or don't provide enough information about a suspected problem.

Your doctor may perform a bone marrow exam to:

  • Diagnose a disease or condition involving the bone marrow or blood cells
  • Determine the stage or progression of a disease
  • Check iron levels and metabolism
  • Monitor treatment of a disease
  • Investigate a fever of unknown origin

Bone marrow biopsy and aspiration may be used for many conditions. These include:

  • Anemia
  • Blood cell conditions in which too few or too many of certain types of blood cells are produced, such as leukopenia, leukocytosis, thrombocytopenia, thrombocytosis, pancytopenia and polycythemia
  • Cancers of the blood or bone marrow, including leukemias, lymphomas and multiple myeloma
  • Cancers that have spread from another area, such as breast, into the bone marrow
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Fevers of unknown origin

A bone marrow biopsy and a bone marrow aspiration offer different, but complementary, information about your bone marrow cells. The two procedures are usually performed together.

Nov. 27, 2014