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Skeletal Radiol. 2002 Jun;31(6):349-53. Epub 2002 Mar 7.

Accuracy of CT-guided biopsies in 359 patients with musculoskeletal lesions.

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  • 1Oncology Service, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston 02114, USA.


The study was undertaken to assess the diagnostic accuracy and clinical usefulness of computed tomography (CT)-guided biopsies and fine needle aspirates of musculoskeletal lesions. The analysis compared the accuracy according to anatomical location, size, type of lesion, and histology. On the basis of the information obtained by reviewing the report of the CT biopsy and comparing it with the final diagnosis for 359 cases, the overall accuracy was determined to be 71%. The accuracy for 101 fine needle aspirations was 63% and for 258 CT-guided core biopsies was 74%. It is of note that the biopsies of 81 pelvic lesions had higher rates of diagnostic accuracy (81%) than those of 278 non-pelvic sites (68%), and especially 94 lesions of the spine (61%). The lowest success rates occurred in 26 patients with infectious diseases (50%). We conclude that these procedures remain the logical and safe choice for diagnostic studies of patients with lesions of the musculoskeletal system.

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