Bone biopsy

Last updated: Monday, 06, August, 2007

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Item Process
Specimen

Trephine needle biopsy, open surgical biopsy or fine needle aspiration biopsy.

Method

Fresh tissue: frozen section, microscopy, microbiological culture, molecular genetics and cytogenetics (if indicated). In the majority of cases consultation between pathologist, radiologist and clinical staff is essential. 

Fixed tissue: light microscopy, morphometry. If metabolic bone disease is suspected, pre-biopsy administration of tetracycline (in vivo tetracyline labelling) may be indicated - consult laboratory staff.

Application

May be indicated to establish the diagnosis of bone cysts;
osteomalacia;
rickets;
osteoporosis;
Paget's disease;
renal osteodystrophy;
hyperparathyroidism;
suspected osteomyelitis; and
suspected primary and secondary neoplasms.

Interpretation

The report by the pathologist will address the specific clinical problem such as diagnosis of demineralisation disorder, morphometric analysis for metabolic bone disease, identification and classification of benign tumours, and primary and secondary malignancy. 

See also Bone marrow aspiration and trephine biopsy.

Reference

Buchalz RW and Heckman JD eds. Rockwood and Green's Fractures in Adults. 5th ed.  Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins 2001.