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Eur Radiol. 2009 Jan;19(1):230-5. doi: 10.1007/s00330-008-1121-8. Epub 2008 Aug 15.

Image-guided biopsy in patients with suspected ovarian carcinoma: a safe and effective technique?

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Department of Radiology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK.


In patients with suspected advanced ovarian carcinoma, a precise histological diagnosis is required before commencing neo-adjuvant chemotherapy. This study aims to determine the diagnostic accuracy and complication rate of percutaneous biopsies performed under ultrasound or computed tomography guidance. Between 2002 to 2007, 60 consecutive image-guided percutaneous biopsies were performed in patients with suspected ovarian cancer. The following variables were recorded: tissue biopsied, imaging technique, experience of operator, biopsy needle gauge, number of passes, complications, and final histology. Forty-seven patients had omental biopsies, 12 pelvic mass biopsies, and 1 para-aortic lymph node biopsy. Thirty-five biopsies were performed under ultrasound, 25 under computed tomography guidance. Biopsy needle gauges ranged from 14-20 swg with two to five passes for each patient. There were no complications. Histology was obtained in 52 (87%) patients. Percutaneous image-guided biopsy of peritoneal disease or pelvic mass is safe with high diagnostic accuracy. The large-gauge biopsy needle is as safe as the small gauge needle, but has the added value of obtaining tissue samples for immunohistochemistry and genomic studies.

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