Bone marrow biopsies are now widely used in the investigation and follow-up of many diseases. Semi-thin sections of 8216 undecalcified biopsies of patients with haematological disorders were studied. Observations were made on the cytopenias and the myelodysplastic syndromes, the acute leukaemias the myeloproliferative disorders, Hodgkin's disease and the malignant lymphomas including multiple myeloma, hairy cell leukaemia and angioimmunoblastic lymphadenopathy. Bone marrow biopsies are essential for the differential diagnosis of most cytopenias and for the early recognition of fibrosis which most frequently occurred as a consequence of megakaryocytic proliferation in the myeloproliferative disorders. Different patterns of bone marrow involvement were found in the lymphoproliferative disorders and both their type and extent constituted factors of prognostic significance. A survey of the literature is given and the conclusion is drawn that bone marrow biopsies provide indispensible information for the diagnostic evaluation and the follow-up of patients with haematological disorders.
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