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What is a bone marrow biopsy?

A bone marrow biopsy is the removal of a small amount of bone marrow from inside a bone. Bone marrow is a spongy tissue deep inside most bones. It makes red blood cells that carry oxygen and white blood cells that fight infection. A bone marrow biopsy determines if your bone marrow makes healthy blood cells. It helps diagnose blood and bone marrow conditions, including leukemia and infection.

A bone marrow biopsy is only one method used to diagnose a diseases and conditions of the blood and bone marrow. Discuss different testing options with your doctor to understand which option is right for you.

Medical Reviewers: Daphne E. Hemmings, MD, MPH Last Review Date: Jul 7, 2013

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Medical References

  1. Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy. Lab Tests Online. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/bone-marrow/tab/test
  2. Bone Marrow Biopsy. Harvard Health Publication. http://www.health.harvard.edu/diagnostic-tests/bone-marrow-biopsy.htm
  3. Evaluating postoperative fever: A focused approach. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. http://ccjm.org/content/73/Suppl_1/S62.full.pdf
  4. General Information about Myelodysplastic Syndromes. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/myelodysplastic/Patient/page1
  5. Primary Thrombocytopenia. University of Maryland Medical Center. http://www.umm.edu/blood/thrombo.htm
  6. What is Aplastic Anemia? National Heat Lung and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/aplastic/aplastic_whatis.html

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