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Am Surg. 1997 Dec;63(12):1124-7.

Stereotactic core biopsy of the breast: results of one-year follow-up of 101 patients.

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  • 1Department of Surgery (Section of Surgical Oncology), Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425, USA.


Stereotactic core biopsy (SCB) is being used as a cost-effective alternative to needle localized biopsy (NLB). However, an area of concern is the potential for sampling error, with sparse surgical data available concerning follow-up and failure rates. We therefore reviewed our results in patients undergoing SCB for mammographically detected breast abnormalities. Between January 1994 and February 1995, 128 patients underwent SCB. Average age was 56.4 years. Nine patients (7.0%) had histologic evidence of malignancy, with 111 (86.7%) benign diagnoses requiring no further initial intervention. Eight patients (6.3%) proceeded directly to NLB, five because of technical failure of SCB and three because of suspicious initial histology. One of the latter patients had ductal carcinoma in situ. The remaining 111 SCB patients were evaluated at 6 months and 1 year by mammographic and physical examination. Ten patients were lost to follow-up. Of the remaining 101 patients, 98 (97%) had stable mammograms and normal physical examinations. Three patients (3.9%) required subsequent NLB due to progression of the mammographic lesion. Two cases were histologically benign, and 1 patient had ductal carcinoma in situ adjacent to the previous SCB biopsy site. An additional patient underwent NLB for a new radiographic abnormality at a separate location in the ipsilateral breast, which was invasive ductal carcinoma. SCB appears to be an effective alternative to NLB for the majority of patients deemed eligible. Careful mammographic follow-up is warranted for these patients given the small, but real, possibility of sampling error.

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