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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms



bone marrow aspiration and biopsy  listen  (bone MAYR-oh AS-pih-RAY-shun ... BY-op-see)

  A procedure in which a small sample of bone marrow (soft, sponge-like tissue in the center of most bones) and bone is removed. 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. A sample of liquid bone marrow is removed with a syringe attached to the needle. The syringe is then removed and the needle is rotated to remove a sample of the bone and the bone marrow. Both the bone marrow and bone samples are sent to a laboratory to be looked at under a microscope.

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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.