Bone Marrow Aspiration: Normal Hematopoiesis and Basic Interpretive Procedures (Online CE Course)

(based on 285 customer ratings)

Author: Marybeth Helfrich, MT(ASCP)
Reviewer: Paul S. Fekete, MD, FCAP

This course provides a thorough review of cellular elements encountered in normal bone marrow. It also provides guidelines for preparation of smears, including an instructional video, and evaluation and reporting of bone marrows.

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Continuing Education Credits

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 2 hour(s)
Course number 578-010-16, approved through 3/31/2018
Course number 20-547599, approved through 9/1/2018


  • Describe bone marrow sample collection, smear preparation and routine staining techniques.
  • Recognize and identify myeloid and erythroid precursors found in normal bone marrow aspirates.
  • Compare lymphocytes, hematogones and plasma cells.
  • Compare and contrast monocytes, monocyte precursors and macrophages.
  • Describe benign background cell types found in normal bone marrow.
  • Outline and explain standard procedures for reporting bone marrow differentials.

Customer Ratings

(based on 285 customer ratings)

Course Outline

Click on the links below to preview selected pages from this course.
  • Bone Marrow Aspirates
    • Sample Collection
      • Bone Marrow Collection: Patient Bedside
      • Bone Marrow Delivery
      • The role of the laboratory technologist in processing bone marrow aspirates can vary depending on laboratory and clinician protocols. Which of the fol...
    • Smear techniques
    • Routine Staining
      • Manual Staining of Bone Marrow Preparations
      • Manual Staining of Bone Marrow Preparations: Wright's and Wright-Giemsa Stain
      • Automated Stainers
      • Iron Staining
      • The same staining protocol can be used for bone marrow smears as is used for peripheral blood smears.
  • Normal Bone Marrow Morphology
      • Bone marrow Differentials
    • Myeloid Maturation Sequence
    • Erythroid Maturation Sequence
    • Monocytes / Macrophages
    • Lymphocytes / Hematogones / Plasmacells
      • Lymphocyte
      • Hematogone
      • Plasma Cell
      • What are the cells that are indicated by the red arrows in the image on the right?
    • Megakaryocytes
    • Other Constituents of Normal Bone Marrow
  • Bone Marrow Evaluation and Reporting
  • References

Additional Information

Level of Instruction: Intermediate to Advanced

Intended Audience: Clinical laboratory technologists, technicians, and pathologists. This course is also appropriate for clinical laboratory science students and pathology residents.
Author Information: Marybeth Helfrich, MT(ASCP) is currently a Laboratory Technologist Specialist for the Hematology/Oncology Laboratory at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. She received her BS, MT from Temple University in Philadelphia and has nearly 40 year experience in both adult and pediatric hematology and oncology settings. She is a regular presenter for ASCLS-PA, has been a presenter for ASCP (local and national), and the Texas Teleconference network. She is responsible for hematology morphology instruction and training for medical technologists and fellows. She is also a regular developer of morphology tutorials for in-house continuing education activities.
Reviewer Information: Paul S. Fekete, MD, FCAP is the President and CEO of MediaLab, Inc. He received his MD from Ohio State University and completed his clinical pathology residency at Emory University in Atlanta. He has served as an Assistant Professor of Pathology at Emory and as the Director of Laboratories for Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, GA. He is currently Assistant Professor of Pathology, at the Augusta University University of Georgia Medical Partnership. Dr. Fekete is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists.
Course information: This course provides a thorough review of cellular elements encountered in normal bone marrow. It also provides guidelines for preparation of smears, including an instructional video, and evaluation and reporting of bone marrows.


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