What To Expect From A Bone Marrow Biopsy

When A Biopsy Is Needed

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A bone marrow biopsy may be ordered by a physician if patients have abnormal levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. An individual who has unexplained anemia may need to undergo a bone marrow biopsy to identify its cause. A bone marrow biopsy can identify diseases of the bone marrow, including myelodysplastic syndrome or myelofibrosis, and conditions that affect the blood cells, such as leukopenia, polycythemia, and thrombocytopenia. A bone marrow biopsy can aid in the diagnosis of certain types of cancer that affect bone marrow and blood components, such as leukemias and lymphomas. A bone marrow biopsy can determine if a patient has a genetic disorder called hemochromatosis, where iron inappropriately accumulates in the blood. A bone marrow biopsy can help identify the cause of a patient's fever or infection of unknown origin. This procedure may also be used to monitor the progression of a disease, the effectiveness of treatment, and to determine the stage of cancer.

Get familiar with how to prepare for a bone marrow biopsy next.

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