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Ann Surg Oncol. 1997 Jun;4(4):316-20.

Comparison of histologic diagnosis between stereotactic core needle biopsy and open surgical biopsy.

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Department of Surgery, Sisters of Charity Hospital, State University of New York at Buffalo, USA.



This study correlates the histologic findings of stereotactic core needle biopsy (SCNB) with open surgical biopsy (OSB) and identifies which lesions can be treated definitively based only on the SCNB histology.


Women who underwent SCNB between July 1, 1993, and January 1, 1969, were identified by retrospective chart review. Mammographic (MGM) lesions found by SCNB to be ductal or lobular hyperplasia with atypia, or carcinoma underwent OSB. When the histologic findings by SCNB were inconsistent with the MGM findings, the lesion also underwent OSB.


799 women underwent SCNB with 96 (12%) of these going on to OSB. MGM findings in the 92 who presented without a palpable mass included microcalcifications (MCS) in 39, mass in 47, MCS and mass in 7, and tissue distortion in 3. One hundred one breast lesions biopsied first by SCNB, then by OSB were correlated histologically. Sensitivity of SCNB is 89%, with a specificity of 94%. Eight-four women (88%) were able to have definitive treatment at time of OSB because of prior SCNB, and 703/799 (88%) of women were spared OSB entirely.


SCNB accurately identifies benign breast histology and invasive cancers in women with MGM abnormalities, a distinct advantage over fine needle aspiration cytology. SCNB does not reliably identify women with DCIS and invasion. All women with SCNB diagnosis of ductal or lobular atypia should also undergo OSB.

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