Our bone marrow is a very important part of our body. In fact, we have bone marrow within our every bone. Yet, the type of bone marrow can differ, depending on the type of the bone in our body. Thus, some bone marrows are made of fat while some are made of cellular mass. The latter ones create red and white blood cells and platelets for our blood. This process requires iron and, thereby, our bone marrow contains large supplies of our body's iron. Unfortunately, bone marrow may contain abnormal cells or proteins as well, being cancerous or inflamed, leading to illnesses, some more serious than others.
The Importance of Bone Marrow Procedures
Bone marrow aspiration is a procedure which is used in order to obtain the blood-cell producing part of one's bone marrow in order to examine it or transplant it to another human being compatible. The process is carried out by inserting a special type of needle inside a marrow-containing bone and drawing out the marrow by some kind of a suction, taking samples.
These tests are done so that doctors can diagnose a certain bone marrow condition or an illness. Whenever we have increased or abnormal blood-cell counts in our body, our doctors can suspect that something may be wrong in our bone marrow. Usually, cancers are diagnosed this way. On the other hand, this procedure can help doctors diagnose inflammations, presence of abnormal proteins or infections, affecting a person's bone marrow.
The Bone Marrow Diseases
As it was mentioned above, bone marrow analysis can show the doctors whether a patient has cancer or not. Leukemia or multiple myeloma both affect the bone marrow cells themselves and the biopsy is used to help confirming the diagnosis of these illnesses and start the proper treatment. Sometimes, patients have low levels of blood-clotting elements. Then, again, bone marrow samples need to be taken and analyzed. Regular blood tests can help doctors find reasons behind anemia. However, when these do not seem to be sufficient for a diagnosis, bone marrow is analyzed and checked for any problems with the creation of red blood cells. Infections inside the bone marrow can trigger constant fevers in some patients. Then, a bone marrow biopsy can provide the medical staff with a list of bacterial cultures present in the bones.
Bone marrow procedure is usually safe. Nevertheless, it is painful, even during the effect of anesthesia. Pain and soreness may be present for a couple of days after the procedure. Rarely, bleeding may take place, along with infections and possible persistent pain. In a very small percentage of cases, the needle has damaged certain arteries, leading to death.