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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2000 Apr;(373):80-7.

Fine needle aspiration biopsy of primary bone tumors.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1070, USA.


A review of 66 consecutive fine needle aspiration biopsies of primary bone tumors revealed that 48 (73%) were diagnostic. Twelve (18%) yielded inadequate specimens unsatisfactory for diagnosis, and five (8%) yielded specimens adequate for partial diagnosis. The only error, presumably attributable to sampling error, was an unappreciated dedifferentiated osteosarcoma arising in an otherwise typical giant cell tumor. Fine needle aspiration biopsy obviated the need for open biopsy in 24 patients and simplified surgery in an additional 24 patients by establishing the diagnosis before surgical intervention. A solitary soft tissue recurrence of a giant cell tumor has been the only local recurrence. A review of 26 consecutive patients with osteosarcoma revealed that seven tumors were diagnosed by primary open biopsy. Nineteen patients had fine needle aspiration biopsy, of which 15 were diagnostic and four required supplemental open biopsy. The elapsed time between the initial office visit and the diagnostic confirmation averaged 5 days for patients requiring open biopsy compared with 0 days for patients whose fine needle aspiration biopsy was diagnostic. The total estimated charge for fine needle aspiration biopsy of a distal femoral osteosarcoma was $1060.00 compared with $4312.25 for open biopsy. There have been no local recurrences in patients in either group. Fine needle aspiration biopsy provides an accurate, safe, efficient, well tolerated, and cost-effective method for diagnosing classic primary bone tumors, including osteosarcoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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