Aspirated marrow samples have been the major tool for diagnosis of hematopoietic disorders. Only occasionally would the hematologist peruse a sectioned marrow sample—usually obtained at autopsy—and then generally dismay was expressed at the poor quality of cellular detail. Even when a bone marrow biopsy was obtained, usually because insufficient material could be gotten by needle aspiration, the decalcification processing needed for preparation by the pathologist rendered cellular detail unreadable. The hematologist could thus appreciate why the pathologist so rarely used an oil immersion lens.
In recent years, however, methods for obtaining consistently good needle biopsy specimens of bone marrow have been described. A whole new world has been opened for the hematologist as he can now view architectural characteristics as well as cellular detail in bone marrow sectioned samples. We have been particularly pleased with our results with the Jamshidi needle (Jamshidi K, Swain WR: Bone marrow biopsy with unaltered