What Is Bone Marrow Test?

What Is Bone Marrow Test?

Bone marrow is the spongy insides of bone which contains marrow cells.
These are the precursor cells which form all types of blood cells in our bodies.

One of the most often talked about tests in diagnosing blood diseases is Bone Marrow Test.


How is it performed and what can doctors learn from it?
The procedure involves inserting a needle into the bone either in the front of chest(sternum) or back of the hip bone (Iliac crest).

First the patient is given a dose of a local anaesthetic agent Lignocaine.

After a few minutes the area around the bone will become numb, then the bone marrow aspiration needle is inserted and a sample sucked out.

Sometimes we also do a trephine biopsy at the same site using another needle called Jamshidi needle.


Depending upon what the clinical suspicion is this bone marrow sample can be subjected to a variety of tests to study what cells are there, are there cancer cells and many advanced tests like genetic, chromosomal and molecular tests are done.
We make a smear preparation on a slide to study under the microscope.

It is possible to diagnose not only cancer but also infection or deficiency of vital nutrients like iron, B12 and folic acid just by looking at marrow cells.

Very little pain or discomfort is caused by a bone marrow test and patients should not worry about it.

In case of children we may put the child to sleep before the test is done but adults don’t require sedatives usually.


Related articles

Bone marrow is the spongy blood filled cavity inside of our bones, that is virtually the blood cell factory of our body.

Blood is something that medical technology hasn’t been able to manufacture. Blood has to come from healthy people and blood banks need this precious currency all the time.