Sub Category







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

Complete history with relevant investigations including recent CBC and concurrent peripheral blood film examination

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


Sample type

Properly prepared, labeled, air dried, fixed smears required. slides should be labeled with 2 patient identifiers, including name. if slides are not fixed, label as unfixed. if fixation is done, this should be with freshly prepared methanol.

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)

Rejection criteria

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

Other Instructions

if additional tests are required, obtain the relevant samples & list them on the request form e.g. flow Cytometry (EDTA & Heparin Vacutainer, 3ml each), Cytogenetics (Sodium Heparin Vacutainer), Culture (Blood Culture Bottles) etc.

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.