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Radiol Med. 2012 Jun;117(4):539-57. doi: 10.1007/s11547-011-0735-0. Epub 2011 Oct 21.

Cost-effectiveness of two breast biopsy procedures: surgical biopsy versus vacuum-assisted biopsy.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Diagnostica per Immagini, Imaging Molecolare, Radiologia Interventistica e Terapia Radiante, Universit√† degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata (PTV), Viale Oxford 81, 00133, Rome, Italy.



The aim of this study was to compare the cost-effectiveness of two breast biopsy procedures: surgical biopsy and vacuum-assisted biopsy (VAB).


Between November 2008 and September 2009, 200 patients with suspicious breast lesions underwent biopsy procedures at our radiology department: 100 underwent VAB and 100 underwent surgical biopsy. 66 lesions were sampled under sonographic guidance, 109 under mammographic guidance and 25 under magnetic resonance guidance.


All procedures were successfully completed. No significant differences in diagnostic efficacy were found between the biopsy procedures. Surgical biopsy has a higher unit cost compared with VAB.


Our analysis emphasises the benefits of VAB compared with surgical biopsy in terms of both cost-effectiveness, and less invasiveness from a psychological and aesthetic point of view.

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