Bone marrow culture is an examination of the soft, fatty tissue found inside certain bones. This tissue, called bone marrow, produces blood cells. The test is done to find out if there is an infection inside the bone marrow.
Culture - bone marrow
The removed tissue is sent to a lab. It is placed into a special container called a culture dish. Every day, the laboratory specialist will look at the tissue under a microscope to see if any bacteria, fungi, or viruses have grown.
If any bacteria, fungi, or viruses are found, other tests may be done to learn which drugs will kill the organisms. Treatment can then be started based on these results.
You may feel pressure and pain as the marrow is being removed. (You may be given some numbing medicine, called anesthesia, before the procedure.)
Soreness at the site usually lasts from a few hours to 1-2 days.
You may have this test if you have an unexplained fever or if your health care provider thinks you have an infection of the bone marrow.
No growth of bacteria, viruses, or fungi in the culture is normal.
Abnormal results suggest that you have an infection of the bone marrow. The infection may be from bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
Fluid (aspirate) or a piece of tissue (biopsy specimen) from the bone marrow may be sent to the laboratory for many different types of tests. These tests study how immature blood cells look, and how they are developing.
Castro-Malaspina H, O'Reilly R. Aplastic anemia and related disorders. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 171.
Review Date: 3/2/2009
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright ©2010 A.D.A.M., Inc., as modified by University of California San Francisco. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Information developed by A.D.A.M., Inc. regarding tests and test results may not directly correspond with information provided by UCSF Medical Center. Please discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.