Powered bone marrow biopsy procedures produce larger core specimens, with less pain, in less time than with standard manual devices

Larry J. Miller, Thomas E. Philbeck, Diana F. Montez, Tatiana A. Puga, Kim E. Brodie, Stephen C. Cohen, Cathy Spadaccini, Ronan Swords, Andrew J. Brenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Bone marrow sampling remains essential in the evaluation of hematopoietic and many non-hematopoietic disorders. One common limitation to these procedures is the discomfort experienced by patients. To address whether a Powered biopsy system could reduce discomfort while providing equivalent or better results, we performed a randomized trial in adult volunteers. Twenty-six subjects underwent bilateral biopsies with each device. Core samples were obtained in 66.7% of Manual insertions; 100% of Powered insertions (P=0.002). Initial mean biopsy core lengths were 11.1±4.5 mm for the Manual device; 17.0±6.8 mm for the Powered device (P<0.005). Pathology assessment for the Manual device showed a mean length of 6.1±5.6 mm, width of 1.0±0.7 mm, and volume of 11.0±10.8 mm3. Powered device measurements were mean length of 15.3±6.1 mm, width of 2.0±0.3 mm, and volume of 49.1±21.5 mm3 (P<0.001). The mean time to core ejection was 86 seconds for Manual device; 47 seconds for the Powered device (P<0.001). The mean second look overall pain score was 33.3 for the Manual device; 20.9 for the Powered (P=0.039). We conclude that the Powered biopsy device produces superior sized specimens, with less overall pain, in less time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-25
Number of pages4
JournalHematology Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 30 2011



  • Bone marrow biopsy
  • Core biopsy
  • Powered biopsy
  • Trephine biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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