Why do we need to perform Bone marrow examination?

Bone marrow examination is used to done for number of reasons like either bone marrow is making blood cells normally or not, Leukopenia (blood cancer), anemia (abnormal red blood cells). But for this first of all we need to understand what is bone marrow? Where it is present? And what is the function of bone marrow?

What is bone marrow ??

Bone marrow is a highly cellular, viscus, soft and spongy tissue has many blood vessels present within the hollow cavities of hard bone.

Two types of bone marrow:


consisting mainly of hematopoietic tissue (which give rise to red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets ) or house of blood cells production.


consisting mainly of fat cells.
On average, bone marrow constitutes 4% of the total body mass of human. The hematopoietic compartment (home for the production of blood cells) of bone marrow produces approximately 500 billion blood cells per day.

Bone marrow location:

• At birth, all bone marrow is red. With age, more and more of it is converted to the yellow type; only around half of adult bone marrow is red.
• In Adults Red marrow is found mainly in the Flat bones and in the ends of long bones such as the femur and humerus.
• Yellow marrow is found in the medullary cavity (the hollow interior of the middle portion of long bones.

Site of blood cells production:

  • Vertebrae
  • Sternum
  • Ribs
  • Femur or long bones.

Function of bone marrow:

Function of bone marrow is to produce new blood cells as the old one get destroyed after a constant time period like:

  • Red blood cells after (3 months)
  • White blood cells after 6 months
  • Platelets after 1 or half year.

So the bone marrow and other long bones produce new blood cells so that they can fulfil the body requirements.

How to do bone marrow examination:

Bone marrow aspiration and bone marrow biopsy are procedures to collect and examine bone marrow (the spongy tissue inside some of your larger bones).

Bone marrow has a fluid portion and a more solid portion. In bone marrow aspiration, a needle is used to withdraw a sample of the fluid portion. In bone marrow biopsy, a needle is used to withdraw a sample of the solid portion.

Bone marrow aspiration can be performed alone, but it’s usually combined with bone marrow biopsy. Together, these procedures may be called a bone marrow exam.

When bone marrow examination should be done:

A bone marrow examination tell us 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.
  • Monitor treatment of a disease.

A bone marrow exam may be used for many conditions. These include:

  • Anemia ( red blood cell reduced or increased or get abnormal).
  • Blood cell diseases in which too few or too many of certain types of blood cells are produced, such as leukopenia (lack of white blood cell) leukocytosis (white blood cells get increased in number), thrombocytopenia (platelets count is too low) thrombocytosis (platelets count increase up to normal value)
  • Cancers of the blood or bone marrow.
  • Cancers that have spread from another area, such as the breast, into the bone marrow.
  • Fevers of unknown origin.


Bleeding disorder:

Excessive bleeding especially in people with low number of platelets (blood cells).


cause an Infaction of the skin at the site of examination especially in a people have poor immune system.

Weakening of bones:

cause the Weakening of bones because the bones can not get proper nutrients (osteoporosis).


pain at the site of Infaction.

Perforations of vessels:

By putting the needle in the back bone for examination can also damage the vessels going through there.

Damage to brain stem:

Any silly mistake in the procedure can cause the leakage of brain fluid and cause even a paralysis.


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