Our laboratory is open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). If tests are to be done the day of your doctor’s appointment, please arrive 45 to 60 minutes early so we can complete the tests before you see your doctor.
The following tests are performed in our office laboratory:
- CBC (Complete Blood Count) – provides information about the white blood cell (WBC), red blood cell (RBC), and platelet (PLT) populations present in your blood.
- Routine Chemistry – provides information about the current status of your kidneys and liver, as well as your blood sugar, proteins, electrolytes and acid/base balance.
- Tumor Markers – includes markers for breast, prostate, ovarian, and colon cancers.
- Prothrombin time – monitors how well blood-thinning medications are working to prevent blood clots; helps detect and diagnose a bleeding disorder.
- Iron Studies – determines your body’s ability to store and use iron.
- Thyroid Testing – screens for thyroid disorders or monitors treatment of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
- Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy – involves examining your bone marrow to look for abnormalities.
- Quant Immunoglobulins (IgG, IgA, IgM) and Beta-2 Microglobulin – commonly used to monitor patients with multiple myeloma and diseases like it. These test often are accompanied by SPE, IFE and Free light chains.
- B12 / Folate – used to test for causes of anemia. These may also be ordered to get approval for certain drugs like Aranesp.
What is a Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy?
Your bone marrow is the tissue contained in the hollow part of your bones. It manufactures blood cells that travel in blood vessels throughout your body. The marrow first produces young cells called stem cells, which grow into other cells called blast cells. These blast cells, in turn, divide into red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets, depending on your body’s needs.
A Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy is performed on a large bone in your body, usually your hip bone.
A Bone Marrow Biopsy involves removing a small, solid piece of bone marrow to determine whether disease is present in the cells that produce blood. These diseases also include leukemia, lymphoma, anemia, or abnormal white blood cells as well as many others.
A Bone Marrow Aspiration involves removing a small sample of bone marrow fluid to diagnose diseases affecting the blood. These diseases include leukemia, anemia, low platelets, or high platelets.
How is a Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy done?
In a Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy, a needle is used to remove bone marrow fluid and tissue. The area where the needle will be inserted will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution, and you will be given an injection of a local anesthetic to numb the area.
During the aspiration, the needle will be inserted into the bone and a syringe attached to the needle will suction a small amount of bone marrow fluid. After the fluid sample is taken, the needle will be moved a bit further into the marrow and rotated in order to force a tiny sample of bone marrow into the needle for the biopsy.
After the needle is removed, pressure will be applied to the site to stop bleeding, and a bandage will be applied.
Everyone’s ability to endure pain is different, and most people do experience some discomfort during these procedures. However, severe pain is unusual. There may be a brief, sharp stinging from the anesthetic injection. Because the interior of the bone cannot be anesthetized, there may be a brief, sharp pain as the aspiration is performed. There may be brief pain, usually duller, from the biopsy.
What do my results mean?
The results of the Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy can help determine:
- Whether you have leukemia or another type of cancer affecting your blood
- Whether a previously diagnosed cancer has spread
- Whether you have certain types of anemia or infection or other diseases of the blood or blood forming tissues
- How well you are responding to therapy for certain cancers