Stereotactically guided breast biopsy: a reviewReport as inadecuate

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Insights into Imaging

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 171–176

First Online: 20 January 2011Received: 27 August 2010Revised: 03 December 2010Accepted: 22 December 2010


The aims of this review are to compare and contrast the available stereotactic equipment, and to describe the variety of needle types used and their affect on pathological results and subsequent patient management. Initial stereotactic devices were -added-on- to analogue mammography units and have been replaced by prone or ducubitus equipment using digital image acquisition. Biopsies use either 14-G core biopsy CB needles or vacuum-assisted biopsies VAB. Vacuum-assisted biopsy systems consistently out-perform 14-G CB with reduced need for diagnostic or multi-treatment surgery. The false-negative rate is 8% for 14-G CB compared with 0.7% for VAB. There is a risk of underestimating the disease present for lesions of uncertain malignant potential Cat B3 and suspicious of malignancy Cat B4 results with 25% of patients with a B3 biopsy found to have cancer at subsequent surgery and 66% of those with a B4 biopsy. A CB diagnosis of in situ malignancy is upgraded to invasive disease at surgery in 15-36% of patients undergoing CB and of the order of 10% with VAB. A high degree of diagnostic accuracy and hence safe patient care can only be achieved by meticulous attention to technique and multi-disciplinary cooperation.

KeywordsBiopsy Breast Core needle Vacuum assisted Stereotactic  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Victoria Ames - Peter D. Britton


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