Bone marrow aspiration
Alternate Names : Iliac crest tap, Sternal tap
Bone marrow is the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells. It is found in the hollow part of most bones. Bone marrow aspiration is the removal of a small amount of this tissue in liquid form for examination.
Why is the Test Performed?
This test is used to diagnose leukemia, infections, some types of anemia, and other blood disorders. It may help determine if cancers have spread.
How is the Test Performed?
The bone marrow will be removed from your pelvic or breast bone. Occasionally, another bone is selected.
The health care provider will clean the skin and apply a numbing medicine (local anesthesia) to the area and surface of the bone. Next, a special needle is inserted into the bone. The needle has a tube attached to it, which creates suction. A small sample of bone marrow fluid flows into the tube. The needle is removed.
A laboratory specialist looks at the bone marrow fluid under a microscope.
How to Prepare for the Test?
No special preparation is necessary for this test.
How will the Test Feel?
You may feel a sting and slight burning sensation when the numbing medicine is applied. You may feel pressure as the needle is inserted into the bone, and a sharp sucking sensation as the marrow is removed. This feeling lasts for only a few moments.
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