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Bone Marrow Aspirate

This is where a needle is inserted into the middle of the bone, usually in the hip (iliac crest) or chest (sternum). Cells are then drawn off and examined under the microscope. Bone marrow aspirates are used in the diagnosis of neuroblastomas. The diagnosis is made when the biopsy contains unequivocal tumour cells (e.g. syncytia or immunocytologically positive clumps of cells) and there is an increased urine or serum catecholamines or metabolites.