Bone marrow examination

Bone marrow is the key investigation in haematology. It may prove diag-ostic in the follow-up of abnormal peripheral blood findings. It is an important staging procedure in defining the extent of disease, especially lymphoproliferative disorders. It is a helpful investigative procedure in unexplained anaemia, splenomegaly or selected cases of pyrexia of unknown origin (PUO). Preferred site for sampling—^posterior iliac crest; aspirate and biopsy material can easily be obtained from this location. The anterior iliac crest is an alternative. The sternum is suitable only for marrow aspiration (see below for contraindications).

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