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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms



bone marrow biopsy  listen  (bone MAYR-oh BY-op-see)

  A procedure in which a small sample of bone with bone marrow inside it is removed, usually from the hip bone. A small area of skin and the surface of the bone underneath are numbed with an anesthetic. Then, a special, wide needle is pushed into the bone and rotated to remove a sample of bone with the bone marrow inside it. The sample is sent to a laboratory to be looked at under a microscope. This procedure may be done at the same time as a bone marrow aspiration.

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Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy; drawing shows a patient lying face down on a table and a Jamshidi needle (a long, hollow needle) being inserted into the hip bone. Inset shows the Jamshidi needle being inserted through the skin into the bone marrow of the hip bone.