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April 1980

Commentary on Bone Marrow Necrosis and Degeneration

Arch Intern Med. 1980;140(4):470-471. doi:10.1001/archinte.1980.00330160030019

The article by Norgard et al in the August issue of the Archives (139:905-911,1979) is important because of the seeming proof of a much greater incidence of bone marrow necrosis than has hitherto been described. Furthermore, they found bone marrow necrosis and degeneration in various disorders that have not previously been thought to cause these pathologic changes. Prior publications cited sickle cell disease, infections, and neoplasias as the more common disorders associated with bone marrow necrosis.1 The covert nature of the necrosis may be due to a number of circumstances. The description of bone marrow necrosis by smear is difficult, if not totally inferential. Marrow biopsy, first done in the 1960s, provided a histologic method for diagnosis of infarction. Even so, one should wonder at the probability of a histologic diagnosis in the bone marrow, as in other tissues obtained by needle, ie, liver and kidney tissues, since a

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