Trends in bone marrow sampling and core biopsy specimen adequacy in the United States and Canada: A multicenter study

Academic Article


  • Objectives: To assess bone marrow (BM) sampling in academic medical centers. Methods: Data from 6,374 BM samples obtained in 32 centers in 2001 and 2011, including core length (CL), were analyzed. Results: BM included a biopsy (BMB; 93%) specimen, aspirate (BMA; 92%) specimen, or both (83%). The median (SD) CL was 12 (8.5) mm, and evaluable marrow was 9 (7.6) mm. Tissue contraction due to processing was 15%. BMB specimens were longer in adults younger than 60 years, men, and bilateral, staging, and baseline samples. Only 4% of BMB and 2% of BMB/BMA samples were deemed inadequate for diagnosis. BM for plasma cell dyscrasias, nonphysician operators, and ancillary studies usage increased, while bilateral sampling decreased over the decade. BM-related quality assurance programs are infrequent. Conclusions: CL is shorter than recommended and varies with patient age and sex, clinical circumstances, and center experience. While pathologists render diagnoses on most cases irrespective of CL, BMB yield improvement is desirable.
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    Author List

  • Merzianu M; Groman A; Hutson A; Cotta C; Brynes RK; Orazi A; Reddy V; Teruya-Feldstein J; Amre R; Balasubramanian M
  • Start Page

  • 393
  • End Page

  • 405
  • Volume

  • 150
  • Issue

  • 5