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What is a bone marrow biopsy?

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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: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Aug 29, 2016

© 2016 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

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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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