What is the role of bone marrow aspiration in the diagnosis of pediatric non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)?

Updated: Jun 14, 2018
  • Author: J Martin Johnston, MD; Chief Editor: Max J Coppes, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Biopsy is necessary to assess for evidence of bone marrow involvement in patients with lymphomas, with bilateral biopsy being superior to a unilateral procedure. Bone marrow aspiration is potentially less sensitive than a core biopsy.

A finding of more than 25% marrow blasts is generally regarded as diagnostic of acute leukemia. levels of lymphoma involvement lower than this indicate stage 4 disease.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays are being used experimentally to detect and monitor minimal residual disease in the marrow. [53, 54] In the future, postinduction measurement of minimal residual disease may improve precision in determining treatment responses and/or treatment assignments.

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