Background: Imaging-guided core needle biopsy is a well-established technique for the diagnosis of bone and soft tissue tumors and tumor-like lesions in specialized orthopedic oncology centers.
Objective: To present our results of computed tomography-guided core needle biopsy with assessment of the accuracy of the technique.
Methods: Between July 1998 and October 2000, 215 CT-guided core needle biopies were performed and histologically examined in the Unit of Bone and Soft Tissue Pathology, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. There were 80 soft tissue and 135 bony lesions. All biopsies were performed by the same radiologist and the histologic examination by the same pathologist. To assess the accuracy of the procedure, we compared the diagnosis at biopsy with the diagnosis after definitive surgery (when available).
Results: Bone core needle biopsy (n = 135) showed malignancy in 89 cases (primary or recurrent bone sarcoma, lymphoma, myeloma, metastatic carcinoma or melanoma). There were 29 benign lesions. In 17 cases the result was inconclusive and an open incisional biopsy was performed. Of the 80 soft tissue biopsies, 35 were malignant (25 soft tissue sarcomas, 6 lymphomas, 4 metastatic carcinomas); 40 were benign (myositis ossificans, neurofibroma, desmoid tumor, schwannoma, hematoma and others), and 5 were inconclusive and followed by an open incisional biopsy. The core needle biopsy histologic diagnosis was compared with that of the definitive surgery and the diagnostic accuracy was 90%. Only three samples initially diagnosed as benign turned out to be malignant. No significant complications occurred during the procedures.
Conclusions: CT-guided CNB of musculoskeletal lesions is a safe and effective procedure that assures sufficient and proper material for histologic examination. The accuracy of this method in our center was 90%. Tumor sampling is extremely important, especially in soft tissue sarcomas, and cores should be taken in different directions, including areas of necrosis. The processing is quick, especially for bone CNB, and diagnosis can be achieved within 24 hours. The material undergoes excellent fixation and the immunostains are reliable.