Bone marrow culture

Bone Marrow Culture

Bone marrow culture refers to the procedure of culturing the bone marrow cells in an artificial laboratory environment.

Why do Bone Marrow Culture?

Bone marrow culture is a process carried out to diagnose certain bone-related disorders like cancer or haematological diseases such as leukaemia. It is also done to detect infections in the bone. A bone marrow culture tests if the bone marrow cells are functioning properly, and to check for the presence of any abnormal cells, which may be cancerous or pre-cancerous.

Preparation for Bone Marrow Culture

Prior to performing a bone marrow culture, the patient must receive a full medical screening. This is done to ensure the patient does not have any contraindications, which could affect the culture results. The patient must also fast at least six hours before the procedure. Additionally, he or she must refrain from drinking alcohol at least 24 hours before the culture.

Procedure of Bone Marrow Culture

The bone marrow culture is conducted in a hospital setting, usually in the presence of a medical specialist. A sample of bone marrow is taken from the patient’s bone, usually from the back of the hipbone. The bone marrow sample is then placed in a suitable culture medium and incubated in specialized equipment for a certain period of time.

During this period, the environment in which the cells are cultured is monitored for changes in temperature, gas levels, and other conditions. After the required amount of time has elapsed, the culture medium is examined under a microscope to detect the presence of abnormal cells.

Types of Bone Marrow Culture

  • Complete Cultures – This type of culture is used when the entire bone marrow sample is cultured together.
  • Sentinel Cultures – This type of culture monitors changes in only certain cells, such as those that are infected or cancerous.
  • High-Risk Cultures – This type of culture is used to detect cells that are at a higher risk for developing cancer.

Risks of Bone Marrow Culture

The risks associated with bone marrow culture include infection, bleeding, and pain at the site of insertion. There is also a risk of an allergic reaction to the culture medium or to the anesthetic used to numb the area.

When do Bone Marrow Culture?

Bone marrow culture is usually recommended when there is suspected abnormal bone marrow activity or when the patient has been diagnosed with a bone disorder such as leukaemia. It can also be done to monitor the progression of certain bone diseases.