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How To Read Your Bone Marrow Test Report

What do you mean by the term “Bone Marrow Pathology Report”?

A bone marrow report is a medical record that a pathologist creates for you. It tells you what the pathologist saw when he or she examined the tissue from your bone marrow sample under a microscope.

What are Bone Marrow Tests?

Tests are performed to check whether your bone marrow is functioning properly and producing adequate blood cells. The Bone Marrow tests can be used to identify and track a variety of bone marrow abnormalities, blood ailments, and cancers. Bone marrow testing are divided into two categories:

  • Bone Marrow Aspiration: A little amount of bone marrow fluid is removed 
  • Bone Marrow Biopsy: A little amount of bone marrow tissue is removed 

Procedures to collect and evaluate bone marrow — the spongy substance inside some of your larger bones — include bone marrow aspiration and bone marrow biopsy.

Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy can determine whether your bone marrow is healthy and producing enough blood cells. These techniques are used by doctors to detect and monitor blood and marrow disorders, as well as fevers of unknown origin.

There is a fluid portion of bone marrow and a more solid section. A needle is used to extract a sample of the fluid part of the bone marrow. A needle is used to extract a sample of the solid component of the bone marrow during a biopsy.

Although bone marrow aspiration can be done alone, it’s commonly performed in collaboration with a bone marrow biopsy. A bone marrow exam is a combination of several treatments.

What is Bone Marrow?

The bone marrow is an organ found inside bones that produces blood cells. Stem cells are the cells that produce blood. Fat cells are one of the several cell types found in the marrow. Bones have hollow holes inside them, similar to a sponge, where these cells live. In and out of the marrow, blood arteries circulate nutrients and oxygen. Normally, as stem cells mature, they change in size, shape, and surface proteins, similar to how an individual matures from an infant to a toddler to a child to a teenager to an elderly person. Blood generally circulates only the “adult” versions of cells.

Different types of blood cells are produced by the bone marrow. Among them are:

  • RBC: Red blood cells (also known as erythrocytes) transport oxygen from your lungs to all of your body’s cells.
  • WBC: White blood cells (also known as leukocytes) aid in the fight against infections.

Platelets aid in the coagulation of blood.

Why Bone Marrow Tests are Performed?

Bone marrow tests are used for a variety of purposes, including:

  1. Find out what’s triggering your red blood cell, white blood cell, or platelet difficulties.
  2. Anemia, polycythemia vera, and thrombocytopenia are all blood disorders that need to be diagnosed and monitored.
  3. To find out if you have a bone marrow disorder.
  4. Leukemia, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma are among the cancers that can be diagnosed and monitored.
  5. Diagnose infections in the bone marrow that may have developed or spread.

If other blood tests reveal that your levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets are not normal, your health care practitioner may recommend a bone marrow aspiration and biopsy. If you have an abnormally high or low number of these cells, you may be suffering from a medical condition such as cancer that begins in your blood or bone marrow. These tests can determine if your cancer has spread to your bone marrow if you’re being treated for another type of cancer.

Bone Marrow Tests are also recommended by doctors to diagnose various conditions that could be chronic or acute to an individual. Those conditions include:

  1. Leukemia
  2. Multiple Myeloma
  3. Lymphoma

How Bone Marrow Test is Performed?

A small sample of bone marrow will be removed by your doctor in order to see what is going inside your bone marrow. The sample is usually obtained from a bone in the hip. Because the posterior iliac crest is big and easy to reach with a needle, the majority of samples are collected from this location of the hip bone.

Bone marrow can be examined using two different types of assays. One or both types of procedures may be performed at the same time by your doctor.

Aspiration: An aspirate is a procedure that removes a little amount of bone marrow with the help of a needle and suction. The tissue sample is then spread out on a slide for examination. Spreading the tissue allows your pathologist to count individual cells and examine their size, shape, and colour. Because the sample is spread out on the slide, it is hard to determine how the cells in the bone marrow were ordered. 

Bone Marrow Biopsy (Cord Needle): A needle is also used to remove a little sample of bone marrow in a core needle biopsy. The tissue sample in a core biopsy, unlike an aspirate, is a solid piece of tissue that must be sliced into thin sections before being seen under a microscope. The arrangement of the bone marrow and how the cells stay together are best examined with a core needle biopsy. Furthermore, some disorders create fibrosis in the bone marrow, which makes aspirating cells difficult. A core biopsy is required to investigate the bone marrow in this case.

When a pathologist examines a sample of bone marrow tissue, they first determine whether there is enough tissue to make a diagnosis. They then seek for a few key characteristics that will help them determine whether the tissue is normal or aberrant.

Results

The samples of bone marrow are sent to a laboratory for testing. The results are usually sent to you within a few days, but it may take longer.

A pathologist or hematopathologist who specializes in interpreting biopsies will examine the samples in the lab to see if your bone marrow is producing enough healthy blood cells and to look for abnormal cells.

The following information may be useful to your doctor:

  • Check to see if a diagnosis is correct or not.
  • Determine the stage of the disease.
  • Check to see if the treatment is effective.

When it comes to scheduling your bone marrow biopsy, you may be nervous about the procedure’s discomfort as well as the various diagnoses that may be discovered. Worry can continue even after the surgery, as certain specialist research findings can take weeks to arrive. Understanding what to expect from the test, asking questions about anything you don’t understand, and learning about any abnormalities discovered can help you feel more in charge of your care and empowered as you make decisions in the future.

 

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