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Disease Profile

Bone marrow necrosis

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


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Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable



In bone marrow necrosis, there is poor circulation of oxygen and nutrients to the bone marrow cells, causing the cells to die. Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside some of your bones, such as your hip and thigh bones. It contains immature cells, called stem cells. The stem cells can develop into the red blood cells that carry oxygen through your body, the white blood cells that fight infections, and the platelets that help with blood clotting. Bone marrow necrosis often causes fever and bone pain, and is associated with blood cancers, in particular acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) although it can be associated with other cancers and non-cancerous conditions (e.g., sickle cell anemia, tuberculosis, infection, and sepsis).[1][2][3]


Signs and symptoms of bone marrow necrosis, include bone pain, fever, fatigue, and jaundice. The bone pain may be throughout the body or localized to the lower back and/or legs.[1][2][3] Laboratory findings may include anemia, thrombocytopenia, and elevated levels of lactic dehydrogenase and alkaline phosphatase.[1][2]


Bone marrow necrosis is associated with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and is often discovered prior to initial diagnosis or around the time of recurrence of ALL.[2]

Other associated cancers include lymphomas and solid tumors. Chronic myeloproliferative disorders have also been reported in association. Non-cancerous associated conditions, include infection, tuberculosis, drugs, sickle cell disease, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolytic-uremic syndrome, antiphospholipid syndrome, and hyperparathyroidism.[1][2]

Cases of bone marrow necrosis have been reported in association with treatment with anticancer drugs, such as fludarabine, imatinib mesylate, and interferon alfa.[2]

In some cases, the cause of bone marrow necrosis cannot be determined.[1]


Bone marrow necrosis is often associated with thrombocytopenia, anemia, low blood count (pancytopenia), and other complications that should be managed with supportive measures until the underlying disease is effectively treated. Once the necrosis stops, the bone marrow cells are able to grow and thrive again.[4]


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Organizations Providing General Support

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      These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

      In-Depth Information

      • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Bone marrow necrosis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


        1. Paydas S, Ergin M, Baslamisli F, Yavuz S, Zorludemir S, Sahin B, Bolat F. Bone marrow necrosis: Clinicopathologic analysis of 20 cases and review of the literature. American Journal of Hematology. 2002;
        2. Matsue K, Takeuchi M, Koseki M, Uryu H. Bone marrow necrosis associated with the use of imatinib mesylate in a patient with Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Ann Hematol. 2006;
        3. Inoue S, Monga R, Onwuzurike N. Bone Marrow Necrosis as a presenting feature of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2007;
        4. Janssens AM, Offner FC, Van Hove WZ. Cancer. 2000; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10760751. Accessed 4/8/2010.

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