How to sample from bone marrow

01 Jan 2019

Higgs, P.

In Practice Image

Bone marrow biopsy is performed to determine whether there is any functional, structural or cellular change to the bone marrow. It is a procedure that is only necessary if there is a very high suspicion of bone marrow disease; indications include pancytopenia, persistent neutropenia, monoclonal gammopathy, non-regenerative anaemia, leukocytosis, circulating atypical lymphocytes and staging for lymphoid neoplasia.


  • Aseptic skin-preparation equipment

  • Fenestrated drape

  • Scalpel blade

  • Sterile gloves

  • Anticoagulant – citrate phosphate dextrose adenine (this can be taken from a blood donation bag)

  • Bone marrow needle (Jamshidi; size dependent on patient [11 gauge is usually appropriate for dogs, 14 gauge for cats])

  • 10 to 20 ml syringe

  • Microscope slides

  • Formalin pot

  • PreparationPreparing the bone marrow needle

  • Using aseptic technique, remove the stylet from the Jamshidi needle.

  • Attach the 20 ml syringe and draw up a small volume...