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Bone marrow - nonneoplastic


Age related changes

Reviewers: Dragos Luca, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 28 September 2012, last major update September 2012
Copyright: (c) 2001-2012, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Cellularity averages 79% at ages 0-9 years, 50% at ages 30-69 vs. 29% at ages 70-79
● With aging, hematopoietic tissue is replaced by fat
● Deeper medullary areas are typically more cellular than subcortical areas
● B cell production declines with age (Curr Opin Immunol 2005;17:463), although the relative abundance of pro-B, pre-B, immature, naive and mature B cells usually does not change appreciably between ages 24 and 88 years
● Occasional patients have exceptionally low numbers of lymphocyte precursors (Blood 2003;101:576)
● Hypocellularity in elderly marrow may be due to increased apoptosis (Mech Ageing Dev 2000;117:57)
● Usually no spicules in bone marrow aspiration from very young children, perhaps due to very low or absent fat content

Age-related normal values in bone marrow

Gross images

Fatty marrow

Micro images

6 month old child has highly cellular marrow (normal for age)

Adult marrow (ages 30-69 years)

Adult marrow

End of Bone Marrow - nonneoplastic > Normal > Age related changes

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