Bone marrow Aspiration and Bone marrow Trephine biopsy studies are complementary to each other and in kolkata, West Bengal, Bone marrow Aspiration is most choicely investigation than trephine biopsy for Diagnosis and Follow up of common Hematological pro

Professor Pranab kumar Bhattacharya- MD(cal) FIC Path(Ind),, Presently Professor & Head of Dept. of Pathology,,
, ,

Other Contributors:

February 17, 2011

The Hematologists(Pathologists trained in hematology) of kolkata, West Bengal( in private setup tertiary care hospitals or in diagnostic laboratories or in Govt. set up secondary or tertiary care teaching hospitals) are being mostly trained with performing, interpretation, evaluation and diagnosis of common hematological problems, requiring Bone Marrow studies, by Bone Marrow aspiration(for diagnostic and follow up after any therapy) than by Bone Marrow Trephine biopsy, unless there is1) failed aspirate due to no marrow fragments in conditions when there is Marrow fibrosis or Marrow aplasia or 2) when there is suspected Pathology in Bone or 3) Marrow is cellular but poor aspiration happens due to tightly packed marrow. In Kolkata the interpretation and reporting of Bone Marrow aspiration is usually done by consultant pathologists trained specially in hematology division in a laboratory or in a teaching hospital Pathology dept set up. A very few centers[ one or two] are there in kolkata in the medical colleges where there are post doctoral trainees in hematology who also perform and report Bone marrow aspiration mainly and occasionally by trephine biopsy.

We authors consider however that there are till many advantages of performing and reporting Bone Marrow aspiration then reporting Bone Marrow Trephine biopsy, some of them can be summarized as follows • The Marrow aspiration needles are less costly, supplied and easily available in the kolkata market, in each &every laboratories and can be easily sterilized then islam or Jamshedi needles for marrow trephine biopsy ** the procedure can be repeated if and when necessary *** Multiple numbers of slides can be drawn from a single aspirate and may be used thus for special stain, cyto-chemistry and immuno histochemistry when necessary **** Report can be handed over to patient by 24 hours in most cases unless special stains or immunostains are asked for.***** Cytogenetic studies including flow cytometry can be performed with aspirated materials******The technique and interpretation can be percolated even at secondary health care level where there is a trained pathologists(at district and sub divisional level hospitals or diagnostic laboratories) and thus necessary treatment can be given earlier by General physicians or primary care physicians. • However there remain recognized problems with Bone Marrow aspiration studies 1) That the aspirated material often becomes diluted with much aspirated blood and in that case it is wiser to suck off blood before making smears with a blotting paper edge 2) the smear drawn by the trainee Post doctorals may not be equally enough thin and spreaded and clumping of many cells at some patchy areas of the slide 3) Marrow material may be drawn inadequate for interpretation 4) while Interpretation of cases and diagnosis are given erythriod hyperplasia particularly in children-the underlying diseases is not well described and many reports realy are such 5) When there is suspected focal lesion –in the bone marrow itself marrow aspiration can miss diagnosis 6) suspected &focal bone marrow fibrosis 7) when there is need to study the bone marrow architecture or bone structure or bone marrow blood vessels, Bone marrow aspiration may not be adequate study • Besides there may be many indications for performing Bone marrow Trephine biopsy like in Aplastic anemia; Myelofibrosis; MDS; Hairy cell leukemia; smoldering Multiple Myeloma; Early Multiple Myeloma Granulomatous lesions in Marrow [ may be from bacterial, viral, rickettsial, fungi, parasitic and sarcoidosis]; Osteopatheis. hypocellular MDS and investigation of suspected MDS or MDS with fibrosis; investigation for suspected amylodosis in cases of Multiple Myeloma ; Hypoplastic acute leukemia; AML M7; After Bone marrow transplant assessments; in CML for sub-typing the disease or to detect early blast crisis and to assess marrow fibrosis; for staging of Hodgkin disease(Bone marrow involvement is(2-32%) diagnosis and staging of small cell tumors of childhood; investigations for unexplained luekoerythroblastic blood picture and trephine biopsy can diagnose occult or micro metastasis if any or necrosis of bone marrow when there is infraction of bone which are missed or become difficult to diagnose by Bone Marrow aspiration studies. • The problem of trephine biopsy is that needles( Islam or jamshidi or westermann-jensen) needles are not available in every laboratories even at tertiary care teaching hospitals Pathology department and disposable needles are very costly for patient* it is always necessary to carry out aspiration at same time** Requires tissue processing set up with fixation facility {microwave fixation is better then10% buffered formalin or zinker fixative as often requires immuno stain as style] and decalcification fluid and making paraffin or resin blocks *** Training for interpretation and evaluation of Trephine biopsy is not adequate; Adequacy of length of Marrow tissues often not obtained (25% shrinkage is natural for fixation and at least 5-6 trabecular space is required for interpretation as per authors] and there remains also word of cautions for patients with coagulation disorders, liver failure and in patients with thrombocytopenia{< 1.5 lack/cumm] • Finally Bone Marrow aspiration and Bone Marrow trephine biopsy are complementary to each other as per authors at least if aspirations are not done then bone marrow imprint should be seen before evaluating Trephine biopsy.

Conflict of Interest:

None declared

Conflict of Interest

None declared