Feasibility and safety of targeting the anterior superior iliac spine to perform a bone marrow procedure: A prospective, clinical study

Loius J. Reed, Shirin Attarian, Todd R. Olson, Shashi Singh, Alexander Shestopalov, Ellen W. Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Aims The bone marrow procedure (BMP) has been performed worldwide for years. Nonetheless, no generally accepted standards or guidelines for the performance of the BMP exist. Recent studies suggested that the lateral angulation technique (LAT), targeting the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) after penetration of the posterior superior iliac spine, yields longer biopsy cores and is safer for patients. We assessed the feasibility and safety of targeting the ASIS in the prone and lateral decubitus positions. Methods We first observed the BMP needle tracks on cadavers. Our cadaver study revealed that the LAT is feasible and safe but requires different operator techniques. Next, we studied 25 adult haematology patients undergoing elective BMP via the LAT approach. Patients returned 5 days after the BMP for a haemoglobin assessment, pain questionnaire and lowdose non-contract CT. Results 8% of patients reported persistent pain. No fall in haemoglobin and no pelvic haematomas or neurovascular injuries were detected. 88% of BMPs were successfully accomplished by targeting the ASIS. 12% required a back-up traditional angulation technique (TAT), directing the needle straight in, perpendicular to the coronal plane of the back. All three demonstrated inadvertent, but asymptomatic, penetration of the sacrum. Biopsy lengths were compared with a historical TAT control demonstrating that specimens obtained by LAT are significantly longer. Imaging studies showed that a seven-degree change in needle direction can convert a TAT to a LAT. Conclusion The LAT approach is feasible, safe and more productive than the TAT, and may be the preferred standard for training haematologists. Trial registration number NCT02524613.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1116-1119
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Pathology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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