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Mayo Clin Proc. 1986 Jan;61(1):28-33.

Outpatient percutaneous biopsy of the iliac crest: methods, morbidity, and patient acceptance.


Bone histology and histomorphometry have become important in the diagnosis and management of metabolic bone disease, but the invasive nature of the biopsy procedure has limited its use. We describe an outpatient technique for obtaining one or more transiliac bone biopsy specimens. Thirty-eight women with osteoporosis, each of whom had sustained one or more spinal compression fractures, underwent two separate bone biopsies during which two 7.5-mm transiliac cores of bone were removed. No morbidity (such as infection or hemorrhage) was encountered. Subjective responses to the level of pain were surveyed by questionnaire. At the time of biopsy, 46% of the study subjects experienced no or only mild discomfort, and 24% judged their pain to be severe. At 16 hours after biopsy, 64% had no or mild pain and 8% experienced severe pain. At 7 days after biopsy, 79% experienced no or mild pain but 9% judged their pain to be severe. In four patients, temporary ambulatory disability occurred but resolved spontaneously in 7 to 10 days. We conclude that the described outpatient bone biopsy procedure is safe, efficient, and generally acceptable to patients.

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