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Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Test Catalogue

​Bone Marrow Aspirate and Core Biopsy


​Ordering Recommendation

  • ​ ​Must be pre-booked Monday to Friday (excluding stat holidays) in advance by calling:
    • RUH Hematology lab at 655-2191
    • Cytogenetics Lab (if cytogenetic testing required) at 655-1706
    • Microbiology Lab (if cultures required) at 655-1790
  • Inpatients, Outpatients, Operating Room, Recovery Room, Cat Scan Room, MRI suite and Pediatric Oncology where the technologist is required to make slides at the bedside will be booked 0:800a.m. to 12:00p.m. at no less than 30 min. intervals with a maximum of 3 per day
  • Adults in Cancer Center (when a technologist will not be in attendance) may be booked 8:00am to 2:00p.m. and are not limited to 30 min. intervals
  • SPH or SCH requests must be booked at RUH only and RUH will confirm availability of technologist at other site
  • Bone marrows requested on weekends, stat holidays, after hours, in excess of 4 per day or more than 3 to attend at bedside must be approved by the Laboratory Hematopathologist on service
  • Order urgent CBC and reticulocyte count

Specimen Requirements​ ​

  • ​Bone marrow aspirate (smears and crush slides)
  • Core biopsy (touch preparations made)
  • ​Preferred Collection Container – Aspirate: LAVENDER (K2 EDTA)
  • Alternative Collection Container – Aspirate: Syringe at patient bedside with technologist present
  • Preferred Collection Container – Core Biopsy: Sterile Starplex container
​Collection Procedure
  • ​The first syringe aspiration provides the best particles – no more than 0.5-1.0mL
  • Requests for:
    • Flow Cytometry collect 3.0-4.0 mL in K2 EDTA
    • Molecular Diagnostics collect 1.0-3.0 mL in K2 EDTA
    • Microbiology -contact the department for specimen requirement details
    • Cytogenetics collect 3.0-4.0 mL in SODIUM Heparin
  • Core Biopsy specimens are placed on Surgipath Bio-Wraps filter paper, placed on a normal saline-moistened (do not saturate) gauze in a Sterile Starplex container
​Required Volume
  • ​Optimal Volume: 1.0 mL
  • Minimum Volume: 0.5 ml
    (Submitting the minimum volume makes it impossible to repeat the test or perform confirmatory/reflex testing. In some situations, a minimum volume may require a second collection.)
  • ​Crush slides and smears need to be made within 6 hours of collection if collected into lavender tube
  • Crush slides and smears need to be made immediately if bone marrow collected in a syringe at the bedside
Grounds for Rejection​

Testing Information​ ​

  • ​Monday to Friday, 8:00a.m. to 12:00p.m., if technologist is required to make slides at the bedside
  • Monday to Friday, 8:00a.m. to 2:00p.m., if technologist is not required in attendance
  • Stat requests outside of the above hours or when fully booked (see Ordering Requirements above) must be approved by the Laboratory Hematopathologist on service
Testing Site​
  • ​RUH Hematology
Results Reporting​
  • ​7 working days for surgical report
  • Laboratory Hematopathologist on service will phone physician when critical findings are discovered
Reflex Testing
  • ​ CBC and reticulocyte count (ordered by ward)
  • Iron stain and differential (ordered by technologist upon receipt of bone marrow specimen)
  • ​Wrights and Giemsa stain for differential
  • Prussian Blue stain for iron
​Specimen Retention
  • ​Bone marrow crush slide - 50 years (as part of a surgical case)
  • Filtrate of aspirate - 24 hours
Alternate Test Names​
  • ​Bone marrow morphology
  • Bone marrow differential
​Additional Comments
  • ​Ensure that a CBC, a reportable differential and a reticulocyte count are performed within 24 hours of Bone Marrow procedure, where possible
  • A peripheral film must accompany the bone marrow slides, where possible
SHR LIS Test Code​
  • ​BM (For Laboratory Use Only)

Test Ordering Requirements​ ​

​Preferred Specimen Collection
  • ​RUH
​Forms Required
​Clearance Required
  • ​Phone 655-1000 and ask for the Laboratory Hematopathologist on service


​If you choose to print this information, it is valid only on date of print.

Laboratory Controlled Document LSM-14 v1

Last Modified: Wednesday, February 3, 2016 |
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