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A 34-year-old member asked:

why could someone require a bone-marrow biopsy?

3 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kenneth Cheng
Family Medicine 31 years experience
Blood making cells: The bone marrow is where the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are made. A bone marrow biopsy is often recommended when a physician, usually a hematologist or oncologist, needs to see what might be causing an abnormality in ones complete blood count (cbc).
Dr. Le Wang
Dr. Le Wanganswered
Internal Medicine 36 years experience
Many Indications: Bone marrow biopsy is most useful in diagnosis and staging of blood cancers (leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, etc). Also indicated for evaluating unexplained anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, pancytopenia, or unexplained elevated blood counts. It is also useful for fever of unknown origin, or as a confirmation that bone marrow transplantation is successful.
Dr. Rawhi Omar
Pathology 44 years experience
Blood disorders: The most common reason for having a bone marrow biopsy is to investigate an issue with your blood cell counts like in anemia or leukemia (excessive increase in one of blood cell types). In patients with advanced types of cancer, bone marrow bx is done to rule out its involvement or to assess the effect of chemotherapy on blood cell production

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No: This answer depends on the amount of fusion, the location, and the bones involved. There are some genetic disorders that lend to large fusions, creating very abnormal skulls. Crouzon's disease is one such disorder. If fusion is detected or found on imaging, immediate follow up with a neurosurgeon and geneticist is required to help make that decision.
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How does the bone density test define osteoporosis?

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Only partly: The DEXA scan gives the bone mineral density at the hips, spine and forearm. These scores can predict osteoporosis: 't-score' of less than -2.5 is considered osteoporosis. However, many people suffer osteoporosis fractures despite having better bone densities. So, we also use other factors: age, ethnicity, size, family history, prior fractures, smoking, alcohol, other conditions to predict risks.
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A 34-year-old member asked:

How long is the needle that is used for liver biopsy?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Long enough :-): A hepatologist (specialist in liver disease) can tell you precisely. But most would probably agree that the needle used is "long enough.".
Dr. Sanjay Jain
Dr. Sanjay Jain commented
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A 37-year-old member asked:

What is nephrogenic systemic fibrosis and what will a skin biopsy tell you?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Simon Kimm
Urology 16 years experience
Affects skin, joints: Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (nsf) is a serious condition where fibrosis of skin leads to scar-like nodules & plaques. Joints can be affected, leading to contractures & pain. Serious cases can lead to fibrosis of organs. The cause is unknown, but is related to kidney failure & exposure to gadolinium, used in mri. A skin biopsy is diagnostic, showing thickened collagen bundles & sclerotic bodies.
A 30-year-old member asked:

I'm curious as to why would someone require a bone-marrow biopsy?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
Long list: See this site for a list of indications for bone marrow biopsy. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003934.htm.

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