Procedures used to test bone marrow include the bone marrow aspiration and bone marrow biopsy, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The biopsy is typically done when the information collected from the aspiration is insufficient or the tissue needs to be examined.
Both procedures may be performed in a doctor's office or hospital, MedlinePlus states. Usually the pelvic or breast bone is used, and the area is cleaned and numbed. During aspiration, a needle is inserted into the bone, and a small amount of marrow flows out into a tube. When a biopsy is executed, the needle is introduced further into the bone, and a core of marrow is removed.