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A trephine with a center pin can be seen on the left.
Dr. John Clarke trepanning a skull, ca. 1664, in one of the earliest American portraits. Clarke has a trephine in his right hand. The painting is in Harvard Medical School.[1]

A trephine (/trɪˈfn/; from Greek trypanon, meaning an instrument for boring)[2] is a surgical instrument with a cylindrical blade. It can be of one of several dimensions and designs depending on what it is meant to be used for. They may be specially designed for obtaining a cylindrically shaped core of bone that can be used for tests and bone studies, cutting holes in bones (i.e., the skull) or for cutting out a round piece of the cornea for eye surgery.

A cylindrically shaped core of bone (or bone biopsy) obtained with a bone marrow trephine is usually examined in the histopathology department of a hospital under a microscope. It shows the pattern and cellularity of the bone marrow as it lay in the bone and is a useful diagnostic tool in certain circumstances such as bone marrow cancer and leukemia.[citation needed]

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External links[edit]

  • Wikisource "Trepan" . The American Cyclopædia. 1879.