Bone marrow biopsy, an effective diagnostic modality for pancytopenia among paediatric and adult population

Nazish Sana, Anila Rashid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine the aetiologies of pancytopenia based on bone trephine biopsy among paediatric and adult patients. Method: The retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted at the Haematology Department of Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, and comprised data from June 1, 2016, to October 31, 2019 related to pancytopenia patients who underwent bone marrow biopsy. Data included age, gender, presenting symptoms, physical examination, complete blood count, peripheral smear, bone marrow aspirate and trephine biopsy findings and final diagnosis. Data was analysed using SPSS 19. Results: Of the 2852bone marrow biopsies done, 255(9%) related to evaluation of pancytopenia. Of them, 208(82%) were adult and 47(18%) were paediatric patients. The median age for adults was 38.8 years (range: 16-92years) and that in paediatric patients was 10.9 years (range: 2-15 years). Presenting symptoms were available for 182(71.4%) patients, and the commonest symptom was generalised weakness 128(70.3%). Overall, pallor was the most frequent sign 233(93.2%). Anisocytosis was predominant blood smear finding 156(61.1%), while the commonest aetiology was aplastic anaemia in both paediatric 23(49%) and adult 57(27.4%) groups. Bone marrow biopsy established the diagnosis in 253(99.2%) cases, while 2(0.95%) adult cases were not diagnosed. Of the diagnosed cases, 103(40.4%) were malignant; 15(32%) paediatric patients and 88(42.3%) adults. The rest were benign; 31(67.4%) paediatric patients and 119(3%) adults. Conclusion: Bone marrow biopsy helped in diagnosing all but 2 pancytopenic patients. Aplastic anaemia was the commonest cause in both paediatric and adult patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1815-1819
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Aplastic anaemia
  • Bone marrow trephine biopsy
  • Pancytopenia


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