Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 329–335 | Cite as

Assessment of bone biopsy needles for sample size, specimen quality and ease of use

  • C. C. RobertsEmail author
  • W. B. Morrison
  • K. O. Leslie
  • J. A. Carrino
  • J. L. Lozevski
  • P. T. Liu
Scientific Article



To assess whether there are significant differences in ease of use and quality of samples among several bone biopsy needles currently available.


Eight commonly used, commercially available bone biopsy needles of different gauges were evaluated. Each needle was used to obtain five consecutive samples from a lamb lumbar pedicle. Subjective assessment of ease of needle use, ease of sample removal from the needle and sample quality, before and after fixation, was graded on a 5-point scale. The number of attempts necessary to reach a 1 cm depth was recorded. Each biopsy specimen was measured in the gross state and after fixation.


The RADI Bonopty 15 g and Kendall Monoject J-type 11 g needles were rated the easiest to use, while the Parallax Core-Assure 11 g and the Bard Ostycut 16 g were rated the most difficult. Parallax Core-Assure and Kendall Monoject needles had the highest quality specimen in the gross state; Cook Elson/Ackerman 14 g and Bard Ostycut 16 g needles yielded the lowest. The MD Tech without Trap-Lok 11 g needle had the highest quality core after fixation, while the Bard Ostycut 16 g had the lowest. There was a significant difference in pre-fixation sample length between needles (P<0.0001), despite acquiring all cores to a standard 1 cm depth. Core length and width decrease in size by an average of 28% and 42% after fixation.


Bone biopsy needles vary significantly in performance. Detailed knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of different needles is important to make an appropriate selection for each individual’s practice.


Percutaneous biopsy Needle Drill Bone lesions 


  1. 1.
    Jelinek JS, Murphey MD, Welker JA, et al. Diagnosis of primary bone tumors with image-guided percutaneous biopsy: experience with 110 tumors. Radiology 2002; 223:731–737.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dupuy DE, Rosenberg AE, Punyaratabandhu T, Tan MH, Mankin HJ. Accuracy of CT-guided needle biopsy of musculoskeletal neoplasms. AJR Am J Roentgenol 1998; 171:759–762.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Welker JA, Henshaw RM, Jelinek J, Shmookler BM, Malawer MM. The percutaneous needle biopsy is safe and recommended in the diagnosis of musculoskeletal masses. Cancer 2000; 89:2677–2686.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hopper KD, Grenko RT, TenHave TR, Hartzel J, Sturtz KW, Savage CA. Percutaneous biopsy of the liver and kidney by using coaxial technique: adequacy of the specimen obtained with three different needles in vitro. AJR Am J Roentgenol 1995; 164:221–224.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wilke HJ, Kettler A, Wenger KH, Claes LE. Anatomy of the sheep spine and its comparison to the human spine. Anat Rec 1997; 247:542–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Moreno J, Forriol F. Effects of preservation on the mechanical strength and chemical composition of cortical bone: an experimental study in sheep femora. Biomaterials 2002; 23:2615–2619.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Borchers RE, Gibson LJ, Burchardt H, Hayes WC. Effects of selected thermal variables on the mechanical properties of trabecular bone. Biomaterials 1995; 16:545–551.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ISS 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. C. Roberts
    • 1
    Email author
  • W. B. Morrison
    • 2
  • K. O. Leslie
    • 3
  • J. A. Carrino
    • 4
  • J. L. Lozevski
    • 5
  • P. T. Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyMayo Clinic College of MedicineScottsdaleUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyThomas Jefferson University HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of PathologyMayo Clinic College of MedicineScottsdaleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical SchoolBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  5. 5.Department of RadiologyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

Personalised recommendations