Bone Marrow Biopsy

March 16 14:02 2019 Print This Article

Bone Marrow Biopsy is a sample of bone marrow, usually taken from the breast bone or the pelvic bone. Examination of the marrow under a microscope can give valuable diagnostic information in disorders of blood cell formation such as leukaemia and certain anaemias. The procedure involves some discomfort, in spite of the local anaesthetic, so a mild sedative is usually given beforehand. Marrow biopsy takes 15 to 60 minutes.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

Bone densitometry is strongly recommended if you:

  • have a thyroid condition, such as hyperthyroidism.
  • are a post-menopausal woman and not taking estrogen.
  • use medications that are known to cause bone loss, including corticosteroids such as Prednisone, various anti-seizure medications such as Dilantin and certain barbiturates, or high-dose thyroid replacement drugs.
  • have high bone turnover, which shows up in the form of excessive collagen in urine samples.
  • have had x-ray evidence of vertebral fracture or other signs of osteoporosis.


  • Bone densitometry is a safe examination that involves much less radiation than a chest or dental x-ray. As with any medical procedure, be sure to tell your doctor if you’re pregnant
  • There is always a slight chance of cancer from radiation. However, the benefit of an accurate diagnosis far outweighs the risk.
  • No complications are expected with the DEXA procedure.


The exam would not be performed if any of the following conditions were met:

  • The exam cannot be performed on pregnant women.
  • History of fractures of both hips with or without internal fixation.
  • History of surgery to the lower back with internal fixation; wires, screws, Harrington rods, Spine cages, etc.

Things to remember

  • Bone density testing is a medical procedure used to determine bone density or strength.
  • There are a range of different procedures that can measure bone density and the majority are quick and pain-free.
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