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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2003 Mar;180(3):785-94.

Stereotactic histologic biopsy with patients prone: technical feasibility in 98% of mammographically detected lesions.

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Radiology Department, Palo Alto Medical Clinic, 795 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA.



The purpose of this retrospective study was to determine which mammographically detected lesions in need of imaging-guided biopsy could undergo prone, stereotactic biopsy.


From July 1991 through June 2001, 1687 consecutive patients (age range, 29-94 years; median age, 58 years) with 1894 lesions were referred by clinicians in a multispecialty clinic. The patients underwent stereotactic, prone, histologic biopsy of 1851 lesions (98%) and needle-localized breast biopsy of 43 lesions (2%). We performed stereotactic biopsies successively with 14-gauge automated large-core devices and 14- or 11-gauge vacuum-assisted devices. We evaluated lesions by patient, breast, lesion, and procedural variables to determine why stereotactic biopsy was not performed.


Of 1851 lesions referred for stereotactic biopsy, biopsies were canceled in 42 lesions (2%) not considered suspicious enough to warrant biopsy. Of 1809 lesions in which stereotactic biopsy was considered to be warranted, stereotactic biopsy was canceled for technical reasons in 29 lesions (2%). Of 43 lesions referred for surgical biopsy, stereotactic biopsy was thought to be technically problematic in five (12%). Inability to accomplish a stereotactic biopsy in 34 (2%) of 1852 lesions needing a biopsy was due to proximity to the chest wall (n = 10, 29%), inadequate lesion visualization unrelated to lesion depth (n = 19, 56%), and patient factors (n = 5, 15%).


Stereotactic biopsy had a technical success rate of 98% (1780/1809) and was used for histologic diagnosis in 96% (1780/1852) of mammographically detected lesions. Inadequate lesion visualization accounted for 85% (29/34) of stereotactic biopsy failures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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