Failed bone marrow biopsy: I had a bone marrow... - CLL Support

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Failed bone marrow biopsy

I had a bone marrow biopsy Tuesday of this week. The doctor was unable to get any marrow during the procedure. He said he was going to hospitalize me, put me to sleep and have it done through the breastbone. I was so woozy from the Ativan that I did not ask him why the biopsy had failed. Has this happened to anyone else? My blood work still looks pretty good. My platelets are not low. However, I had recently taken Xarelto which had caused bruising . However,at the time of the biopsy I was no longer on Xarelto and no longer had bruising. I really need feedback on this because I am worried.

10 Replies

Hi Foxxynana. I would definitely make sure the doctor answers those questions before you agree to a bone marrow biopsy under general anesthetic and from breastbone - specifically: why did first attempt fail, and why do you even need one at this time?

I notice this is your first post. Have you been diagnosed with CLL? Most people with CLL do not require a bone marrow biopsy to diagnose the disease or even to start treatment. If your blood work is good and you are not symptomatic in any way, it is hard for me to know why the need for bone marrow biopsy at all. are you seeing a CLL specialist? If not, you would be best off to find a CLL specialist and see if that person really thinks a BMB is necessary. And do make him or her explain why.

All the best,


in reply to PlanetaryKim

I have MDS Blast 2RAEB. My treatment has been 1 week of dacogen infusions each month beginning in September. This was being done in an effort to keep the disease from advancing to full blown leukemia, decrease the number of blasts, and get rid of or alter the two mutated defective cells I have. Everything was going great. My numbers what up and I felt great. Then I came down with a blood clot and a Bartholin abscess. They halted treatment and did a biopsy to see if the treatment is working.

in reply to PlanetaryKim

I don't have CLL. Thanks so much for your reply; please see my reply to you. I will certainly get those answers from my doctor prior to getting another bone marrow.

PlanetaryKim profile image
PlanetaryKim in reply to

Good luck to you Foxxynana!

MsLockYourPosts profile image
MsLockYourPostsVolunteer in reply to

You might want to send a private message to andrewschorr here or connect with him through He has MDS as well as CLL.

I had a bone marrow biopsy even though my CLL is not causing me any problems yet. I thought this might had just been something they always did.

BMBs can be dry taps, meaning that they couldn't get any marrow. The sternum is also used for BMBs though I don't know how often. I remember reading it before my first BMB.

After 2 failed B M B the sympathetic nurse apologized and was going to give up when I told her to go back in and get some. The third attempt worked. It was a month after completing my six month clinical trial with Ibrutinib and GA 101. The before test was 50, a month after the trail, July,2017, .003% Just slightly under remission. Have experienced fatigue, colds, skin cancers and rashes the past year which seem to be getting better each month. Wondering how my treatment has affected my immune system?

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MsLockYourPostsVolunteer in reply to patsullivan

Have you had your IgG tested?

I hadn’t realised BMBs can fail until my October BMB drew a blank. Just got blood no actual marrow. As I have another one scheduled for April and all my other results were good consultant decided not to ask for a repeat.

best, rob

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