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What Do Bone Marrow Tests Show?

Bone marrow tests show whether your bone marrow is making enough healthy blood cells. If it's not, the results can tell your doctor which cells are unhealthy and why.

Bone marrow tests are an important medical tool. They're used to diagnose many blood and bone marrow disorders, including anemia and certain kinds of cancer.

Bone marrow tests also are used to find out how severe cancer is and how much it has spread throughout the body. The tests also help doctors find the cause of fevers and infections.

Your doctor will combine information from your bone marrow tests with information from a physical exam, blood tests, and other tests, such as imaging scans and x rays. This information will help your doctor diagnose your condition and plan how to treat it.

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Bone Marrow Tests Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Bone Marrow Tests, visit

December 20, 2011 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.