Title

Are Stereotaxic Breast Biopsies Adequate?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1994

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Stereotaxic core breast biopsy (SCBB) has been proposed as a cost-effective and reliable method of evaluating mammographic lesions. This study evaluates an initial experience with SCBB and assesses the adequacy of the biopsy specimens obtained.

METHODS:

Two hundred forty-one SCBB were performed on 221 patients during 13 months by four radiologists. Mammograms were assigned a suspicion index on a scale of 1 to 5. One pathologist performed a blinded retrospective review of all SCBB specimens and assigned an adequacy score based on the quality and amount of the tissue present.

RESULTS:

The majority of SCBB were ordered by general surgeons (67%). A suspicion index score of 3 was assigned to 74% of lesion specimens. Twelve percent of specimens were malignant. Overall SCBB adequacy (score > or = 2) was 77%. Adequacy was present in 74% of benign biopsy specimens as compared with 100% of malignant specimens (p < 0.005). Only 62% of specimens reported as benign without specific features were adequate. There were no differences in adequacy between individual radiologists or during the study period.

CONCLUSIONS:

SCBB is largely used by surgeons to assess indeterminate mammographic lesions. One of four benign specimens was inadequate. Benign SCBB specimens must be interpreted with caution.

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