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Bone marrow examination in the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

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A technique for bone marrow aspiration from the iliac crest in the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) is described. Bone marrow was obtained from ten healthy koalas under general anaesthesia using the combination of tiletamine HCL and zolazepam HCL. Reference ranges were wide. The mean value for M:E was 1.7 (range 0.8–2.7), the mean percentage proliferating erythroid was 11% (range 5%–16%), and the mean percentage proliferating myeloid was 25% (range 17%–35%). In addition, bone marrow aspiration was performed on 14 koalas with various haematological diseases. Results showed aspiration to be useful in the diagnosis of leukaemia, and the investigation of regenerative anaemia and dysplastic anaemia. It was of varying use in the investigation of non-regenerative anaemia.

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Correspondence to P. J. Canfield.

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Spencer, A.J., Canfield, P.J. Bone marrow examination in the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). Comparative Haematology International 5, 31–37 (1995).

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  • Bone marrow aspiration
  • Koala
  • Phascolarctos cinereus
  • Anaemia
  • Leukaemia