RisksBy Mayo Clinic staff
Bone marrow exams are safe procedures. Complications are rare but can include:
- Excessive bleeding, particularly in people with a low platelet count
- Infection, especially in people with weakened immune systems
- Long-lasting discomfort at the biopsy site
- Penetration of the breastbone (sternum) during sternal aspirations, which can cause heart or lung problems
- Complications related to sedation, such as an allergic reaction, nausea or irregular heartbeats
- What are bone marrow tests? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/bmt. Accessed Nov. 4, 2011.
- Ryan DH. Examination of the marrow. In: Lichtman MA, et al. Williams Hematology. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=69. Accessed Nov. 4, 2011.
- Gomella LG, et al. Bedside procedures (bone marrow aspiration and biopsy). Clinician's Pocket Reference. 11th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2007. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2694363. Accessed Nov. 4, 2011.
- Mesa RA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Ariz. Nov. 14, 2011.