The Role od Bone Marrow Aspirate and Trephine Samples in Haematological Diagnoses in Patients Referred to a Teaching Hospital in Ghana
Introduction and methods: A bone marrow examination had been requested by the referring clinician in over half of the 250 patients referred to the haematology clinic at Konfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) between 1988 and 1998 for investigations for various haematological disorders. Although a full blood count and a peripheral blood film can go a long way to resolve some of these diagnostic challenges faced by doctors in the districts, this information was generally not provided in the referral letter. After careful selection, 80 patients actually underwent a bone marrow examination. The result of the full blood count and peripheral film were available before bone marrow sampling was done.
Results: Lymphoproliferative disorders were the most common diseases that caused infiltration of the bone marrow. 27.5% of lymphomas were diagnosed on morphological examination of the bone marrow as high grade B cell NHL, 13.75% had tropical splenic lymphoma, 10% had chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and 5% had disseminated high grade T cell lymphoma and 2.5% had Adult T cell Leukaemia Lymphoma (ATLL). Other disorders diagnosed after bone marrow examination include myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), aplastic anaemia, megaloblastic anaemia and myelofibrosis. Only 8.75% of these patients had a normal bone marrow.
Conclusions: This study has demonstrated the complexity of using bone marrow examination in clinical diagnosis and emphasizes the need for referring clinicians to consider involving specialist input in difficult haematological cases before requesting bone marrow examination for their patients.
Keywords: Bone marrow aspirate, trephine biopsy, haematological diagnoses, Kumasi