Bone marrow aspiration and anemia; Diagnostic importance of bone marrow aspiration and biopsy in evaluating patients presenting with anemia of unknown etiology.
Objectives: To determine the diagnostic importance of bone marrow aspiration and biopsy in work up of cases presenting with anemias of unknown etiology. Study Design: Cross sectional descriptive study. Setting: Pathology Department, Khyber Teaching Hospital, Peshawar. Period: July 2015 to July 2017 (two year). Material & Methods: All patients presenting with anemia (Hemoglobin less than 12gm/dL for females and 13 gm/d L for males), whose cause cannot be established on clinical history, examination and blood counts, and were thus referred for bone marrow examination for further workup were included in the study. Patients having malignancies, chemotherapy or radiotherapy associated marrow suppression, and those with diluted marrow unfit for comments were excluded from the study. Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy was done, slides were examined, and diagnoses was made and recorded. The results were drawn accordingly. Results: A total of 199 patients were referred for bone marrow aspiration, presenting with unexplained anemia, during the study period. About 12 patients had blast cells on peripheral blood film, giving diagnosis of leukemia. So they were excluded from the study. Remaining 187 cases were included in the study. The age of the study sample ranged 3 years to 63 years (mean age 42 years ±8.1 SD). There were 96 (51%) males and 91 (49%) females. Male to female ratio was 1.05:1. Out of 187 cases presenting with unexplained anemias, about 44(23.5%) cases were of iron deficiency anemia, 39(20.7%) cases were of anemia of chronic disorder, 16 (8.7%) cases as hemolytic anemia, about 19 (10.3%) cases as aplastic anemia, and 52 (27.8%) cases of megaloblastic anemia on bone marrow examination. Conclusion: Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy successfully gives the final diagnosis in cases of anemia where cause cannot be found by routine lab investigations. It helps physician decide further management plan of the patients. So, it should be done in all cases with unexplained anemia.