III. Bone Marrow: Overview

Here are some general points regarding the haematolymphoid organs:

I. Bone Marrow

  1. What are the main Cellular components of the bone marrow?
  • 3 major cell lines :
    • Myeloid : neutrophils, monocytes, eosinophils etc.
    • Erythroid : red blood cells
    • Megakaryocytic:  platelets
  • You can work out the functions of these cells; and what may happen if the marrow is unable to produce functioning cells –>  this leads to specific clinical manifestations of disease


  1. What are the Major Diseases in the Bone Marrow?
  • Leukopaenia: Decreased circulating white blood cells (eg. caused by drug related bone marrow suppression – chemotherapy)
  • Leukaemia:
    • Malignancy of the haematopietic system which are primarily disorders of the bone marrow
    • Present with widespread involvement of the bone marrow and usually with large numbers of tumour cells circulating in peripheral blood

3. Whoa! There are so many types of leukaemia…. how to remember?!?

  –> Classify!! … it’s not too bad, there are only 4 main types 

  1. Myeloid or Lymphoid
  2. Acute (usually precursor cells – Myeloid or lymphoid) or Chronic (usually mature cells – Myeloid or lymphoid

eg. Acute myelogenous leukaemia ; Chronic myelogenous leukaemia

How do we know what type of leukaemia we are looking at?

– Clinical presentation (see below)

– Examining the tissue (eg. bone marrow, peripheral blood)


4. How do these manifest clinically (symptoms)?

  • Acute leukaemias: Suppression of marrow function –> work it out based on the cells produced! à Need fast detection and treatment or else rapidly fatal
  • Chronic leukaemias: Non-specific systemic symptoms

II. Other organs

Apply similar principles to the other organs in the lymphoreticular system; asking specific questions on components; function; major diseases and clinical manifestations.



Mucosa Associated Lymphoid Tissue

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