CT Guided Bone Marrow Biopsy

The soft tissue inside the hollow part of the bone is called marrow. A CT-guided bone marrow biopsy uses a needle carefully inserted into the pelvic bone to obtain a sample of bone marrow and bone. This imaging test is performed at the Turkey Lake Orlando and Maitland offices only.

What to Expect

How is a fine-needle aspiration done?

Your doctor will wipe the area with rubbing alcohol or iodine. In most cases, you will receive an injection of local anesthetic to numb the area of your breast where the needle will be inserted. Your doctor will hold the lump steady with one hand and insert a thin needle (attached to a syringe) into the lump. He or she may move the needle in and out of the area to make sure to get enough tissue or fluid for the biopsy. Then he or she pulls on the plunger of the syringe to remove the tissue or fluid. The process takes a few seconds to a few minutes.

If the doctor cannot easily feel the mass, you may have an imaging test, such as a CT scan, ultrasound test, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or mammography to see where to put the needle. In this case, a doctor known as a radiologist may do the aspiration. If the lump is a cyst, the fluid is removed, and the lump usually goes away.

How will it feel?

If you receive a local anesthetic, you may feel a brief sting when it is injected. You also may feel some pressure when the biopsy needle is inserted. The amount of discomfort will depend on how much pain you feel from needles, the part of your body involved, and the skill of the doctor. The site of the fine-needle aspiration may be sore for a couple of days, and you may have a bruise. You should be able to return to work the same day or the next day.

What happens afterward?

Your doctor will apply pressure to the aspiration site to prevent bleeding and put an adhesive bandage on it. He or she may recommend that you take a mild pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil), if you have discomfort when you get home. Keep the area dry for 24 hours.

Contact your doctor if you have bleeding, redness, swelling, or a fever of more than 100.5F over the next couple of days

How to Prepare

No aspirin or “blood thinner” one week prior to biopsy. Please consult your physician prior to discontinuing medications.  

Equipment Used for This Procedure


Siemens Biograph TruePoint PET/64 CT

PET scans measure metabolic processes by sending gamma rays into the body that detect a radiopharmaceutical (or tracer) that was introduced into the body. With the aid of a CT x-ray scan, this provides a 3D image. The High Definition of the Siemens Biograph TruePoint PET/64 CT requires a lower dose than a typical scan, as well as decreased scan time.  This machine has 64 slice technology, whereas most facilities only have 16-slice technology. This means the slices of the image are thinner and therefore more precise than a typical scan because the area of concern is better localized. This helps your doctor make more a more accurate diagnosis.