Bone Marrow Tests
A multiple myeloma bone marrow test is conducted to detect myeloma cells in a patient’s bones or bone marrow. Myeloma bone marrow testing helps doctors diagnose multiple myeloma by evaluating bone health. The primary effect of multiple myeloma is on the bone, so bone damage is a common symptoms of multiple myeloma.
There are 5 common bone marrow tests that doctors conduct to diagnose multiple myeloma:
Bone Marrow Biopsy
A bone marrow biopsy tests the number of plasma cells in the bone marrow. The procedure requires a sample of solid bone tissue that is typically taken from the hip.
Cytogenic Analysis (FISH)
Cytogenetic analysis is a technique that lets doctors analyze chromosomes
in a patient’s bone marrow cells. If doctors detect chromosome abnormalities, it may indicate multiple myeloma. Cytogenetic testing can take up to 3 weeks, as the cells must grow for a couple weeks before doctors can evaluate the chromosomes under a microscope.
Flow cytometry is a common myeloma test that can discover abnormal strands of DNA in bone marrow. Flow cytometry involves putting myeloma cells under a laser beam so that their DNA can be analyzed.
MRI scans help look at bones when diagnosing myeloma. MRI scans uses radio waves and magnets to produce images of a patient’s bones. It is a particularly helpful procedure when doctors need to evaluate the bones of the spine.
Skeletal surveys are a series of x-rays of the skull, spine, arms, ribs, pelvis, and legs. These tests help doctors identify bone damage or bone deterioration, a common symptom of myeloma.
For more information on myeloma bone marrow tests, consult with a physician. Additional information on other myeloma tests, include blood tests or urine tests, is available in the Multiple Myeloma Knowledge Center.