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Invest Radiol. 2005 Jul;40(7):465-71.

Evaluation of the stereotactic 8G vacuum-assisted breast biopsy in the histologic evaluation of suspicious mammography findings (BI-RADS IV).

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Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, J.W.G.-University Frankfurt/Main, Germany.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential of the new 8G stereotactic vacuum-assisted breast biopsy (ST-driver, Mammotome; Ethicon Endosurgery) in the histologic evaluation of BI-RADS IV microcalcifications.


Fifty-eight patients with 61 mammographic BI-RADS IV microcalcifications underwent stereotactic vacuum-assisted breast biopsy (SVAB). The new 8G system was mounted on the ST driver, which was formerly used only with the hand-held version under sonographic guidance. The evaluation criteria for each biopsy were minimally invasive and operative histologies, the time needed for biopsy, the amount of bleeding, number of rotations and specimen, the degree of resection, and the complications.


Fifty-eight of 61 biopsies were technically successful because > or = 50% were resected (29 x 100%, 8 x 90%, 5 x 80%, 6 x 70%, 3 x 50%, 3 x 0%). In 7 cases with representative biopsies of segmental suspicious microcalcifications, the degree of resection could not be exactly measured. All but 2 biopsies were performed without clinically relevant complications and after gaining enough specimens (Ø 12.6 specimen, 1.85 rotations). Those 2 patients showed evidence of severe bleeding into the breast tissue and operative revision had to be performed (3.5%). The size of intramammary hematoma was measurable in 27 biopsies and showed a range from 0.5 to 5 cm (Ø 2.7 cm). The average external bleeding was still low with 16 mL (5-80 mL). In 3 of 61 lesions, it was not possible to gain representative tissue as a result of displacement of the lesion after introducing or shooting the needle. The average time needed for all biopsies was 28.2 minutes for all but 5 very complicated biopsies, which took 16.1 minutes. The histologic findings with further operative workup were: 10 ductal carcinomas in situ (DCIS), 4 atypical ductal hyperplasias, 1 atypical lobular hyperplasias (ALH), 3 lobular carcinomas in situ (LCIS), and 6 invasive ductal carcinomas. In 7 of 12 of the initial DCIS histologies, the operative histology was also DCIS, whereas in 4 of 12, no residual malignant tumor was found. In 1 of 12 patients with an initial DCIS histology, operative histology revealed invasive ductal cancer (8.3%). The cases with lobular lesions (ALH, LCIS) did not show any evidence for residual tissue in the operative workup. Most frequent benign histologies were mastopathy (13), ductal hyperplasia (9), fibroadenoma (8), and sclerosing adenosis (5). The control examinations (maximum 1 year) did not show any signs for a false-negative biopsy.


The 11-G SVAB has proven to be a perfect adjunct to the existing breast biopsy methods. The new 8G SVAB speeds up the method when used for the same size of lesions and enables the user to representatively biopsy lesions up to 3 cm in diameter. The method is still minimally invasive; however, the amount of hematomas as well as clinically relevant complications is increased.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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