The bone marrow is one of the most widely distributed organs in the human body. It is the principal site of blood formation beginning at
the time of birth, at which time all bone cavities are filled with hematopoietic tissue.
By adolescence, active marrow is usually only found in the cavities of axial bones (sternum, ribs, vertebrae, clavicles, scapulae, skull, pelvis, and the
proximal ends of the femurs and humeri). Overall bone marrow cellularity approximates 100 percent at birth and
declines with time, paralleling an age-associated reduction in hematopoietic activity.
Aspiration and biopsy of the bone marrow is used to diagnose, confirm, and/or stage hematologic disease, and is a diagnostic tool in non-hematologic
disorders (eg, storage disease, systemic infection) and malignancies. It is an ambulatory procedure performed under local anesthesia, with low morbidity.