Sub Category



Bone Marrow Aspirate




Individual Test

3-5 days

Results ready in 3-5 working days


Staining & microscopy


Room temperature (slides)


All working days

Components/ Parameters

N/A : However concurrent CBC/ PBF ordering is required.

Pre-analytic Considerations


Test Ordering Instructions

Fill out test request form fully & legibly. Clinical history/ indications required inclusive of results of other diagnostic work-up. concurrent CBC printout or CBC order required. concurrent PBF order/ examination required for optimal hematological assessment.

Patient preparation

Booking for the procedure is required. Children usually require sedation/ anesthesia therefore should be in fasting status at the time of the procedure. charges for sedation/ anesthesia are additional.

Sample type

Properly prepared, labeled, air dried, fixed smears required.

Container/ preservative

Slides should be prepared directly. bone marrow sample can be transferred into EDTA (purple top) vacutainer but slides must then be prepared within 1-2 hours of collection.

Sample volume

N/A (slides required; however for cytology, do not draw >0.5ml for slide preparation to avoid Hemodilution; if additional tests e.g. flow Cytometry, Cytogenetics, culture are required, further draws can be done)

Rejection criteria

Labeling issue (unlabeled/ mislabeled); missing request form; wrong sample type; broken slides

Other Instructions


Reference intervals

Negative for disease/ malignancy

Clinical Utility

Variable E.g. Assess Unexplained Cytopenias (Anemia, Leukopenia, Thrombocytopenia), Unexplained Cytoses (Polycythemia, Leukocytosis, Thrombocytosis), Suspected Malignancy Or Infiltration (Leukemia, Lymphoma, Myeloproliferative Neoplasms, Metastatic Disease), Pyrexia Of Unknown Origin, Infectious Diseases (E.g. Leishmaniasis), B Symptoms (Unintentional Weight Loss, Drenching Night Sweats, Fever) Etc.

Test Limitations/ Confounders

Poor slide preparation / fixation can compromise interpretation/ make BMA unreportable; some diseases e.g. multiple myeloma may involve the bone marrow in a patchy fashion therefore sampling bias may lead to false negative results; optimal bone marrow assessment frequently requires concurrent trephine biopsy to be obtained; some diagnoses can only be made on histology (trephine biopsy) samples e.g. Aplastic anemia, when dry or aparticulate aspirates are obtained.