Bone marrow nonneoplastic


Age related changes

Last author update: 1 September 2012
Last staff update: 13 December 2021

Copyright: 2002-2024,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Bone marrow age related changes [title]

Dragos C. Luca, M.D.
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Cite this page: Luca DC. Age related changes. website. Accessed May 19th, 2024.
Definition / general
  • Cellularity averages 79% at ages 0 - 9 years, 50% at ages 30 - 69 versus 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
Diagrams / tables

Contributed by Dragos C. Luca, M.D.

Age related normal values in bone marrow

Gross images

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Fatty marrow

Microscopic (histologic) images

AFIP images

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

Adult marrow (ages 30 - 69 years)

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Adult marrow

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