Bone marrow aspiration and trephine biopsy
This test is used to examine cells from the bone marrow. You will usually have a local anaesthetic and a mild sedative.
For the bone marrow aspiration, a thin needle is used to remove a sample of fluid (aspirate) from the bone marrow – usually from the pelvic bone, but sometimes from the chest.
While the needle is inside the bone, small pieces of bone and marrow are also removed. This is the trephine biopsy. Sometimes it is done with a second needle instead.
The bone marrow samples are sent to a laboratory for examination under a microscope and further testing. A medical specialist called a pathologist will check the number of plasma cells present and look for any damage to the bone marrow caused by myeloma.
You may also have a bone marrow aspiration and trephine biopsy at the start and end of each course of treatment. By comparing samples, your doctor can see how well the treatment is working.
|After a biopsy, you may feel a bit drowsy and have some bleeding and discomfort at the biopsy site.|
Dr Jane Estell, Senior Staff Specialist, Haematology Department, Concord Cancer Centre, and Senior Clinical Lecturer, The University of Sydney; Brenda Clasquin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Jacqui Keogh, Senior Myeloma Support Nurse, Myeloma Australia; Dr Silvia Ling, Haematologist, Liverpool Hospital and Sydney Adventist Hospital; and John Miller, Consumer.
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