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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2001 Jul;177(1):165-72.

Calcifications highly suggestive of malignancy: comparison of breast biopsy methods.

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  • 1Breast Imaging Section, Department of Radiology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Ave., New York, NY 10021, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to compare the usefulness of, and cost of diagnosing with, different breast biopsy methods for women with calcifications highly suggestive of malignancy.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

One hundred thirty-nine women with calcifications highly suggestive of malignancy underwent diagnostic biopsy. Of these, 89 women had stereotactic biopsy with a 14-gauge automated needle (n = 25), 14-gauge vacuum-assisted probe (n = 17), or 11-gauge vacuum-assisted probe (n = 47); and 50 women had diagnostic surgical biopsy. Medical records were reviewed. Cost savings for stereotactic biopsy were calculated using Medicare data.

RESULTS:

The median number of operations was one for women who had stereotactic biopsy versus two for women who had diagnostic surgical biopsy. The likelihood of undergoing a single operation was significantly greater for women who had stereotactic rather than surgical biopsy, among all women (61/89 [68.5%] vs. 19/50 [38.0%], p < 0.001) and among women treated for breast cancer (55/77 [71.4%] vs. 6/37 [16.2%], p = 0.0000001). Stereotactic 11-gauge vacuum-assisted biopsy, as compared with 14-gauge automated core or 14-gauge vacuum-assisted biopsy, was significantly more likely to spare a surgical procedure (36/47 [76.6%] vs. 16/42 [38.1%], p = 0.0005). Stereotactic 11-gauge vacuum-assisted biopsy resulted in the greatest cost reduction, yielding savings of $315 per case compared with diagnostic surgical biopsy; for women with solitary lesions, stereotactic 11-gauge biopsy decreased the cost of diagnosis by 22.2% ($334/$1502).

CONCLUSION:

For women with calcifications highly suggestive of malignancy, the use of stereotactic rather than surgical biopsy decreases the number of operations. Stereotactic 11-gauge vacuum-assisted biopsy, as compared with 14-gauge automated core or 14-gauge vacuum-assisted biopsy, is significantly more likely to spare a surgical procedure and has the highest cost savings.

PMID:
11418420
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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