Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 43, Issue 11, pp 1599–1603 | Cite as

Success rates for computed tomography-guided musculoskeletal biopsies performed using a low-dose technique

  • Kambiz MotamediEmail author
  • Benjamin D. Levine
  • Leanne L. Seeger
  • Michael F. McNitt-Gray
Technical Report



To evaluate the success rate of a low-dose (50 % mAs reduction) computed tomography (CT) biopsy technique. This protocol was adopted based on other successful reduced-CT radiation dose protocols in our department, which were implemented in conjunction with quality improvement projects.

Materials and methods

The technique included a scout view and initial localizing scan with standard dose. Additional scans obtained for further guidance or needle adjustment were acquired by reducing the tube current-time product (mAs) by 50 %. The radiology billing data were searched for CT-guided musculoskeletal procedures performed over a period of 8 months following the initial implementation of the protocol. These were reviewed for the type of procedure and compliance with the implemented protocol. The compliant CT-guided biopsy cases were then retrospectively reviewed for patient demographics, tumor pathology, and lesion size. Pathology results were compared to the ultimate diagnoses and were categorized as diagnostic, accurate, or successful.


Of 92 CT-guided procedures performed during this period, two were excluded as they were not biopsies (one joint injection and one drainage), 19 were excluded due to non-compliance (operators neglected to follow the protocol), and four were excluded due to lack of available follow-up in our electronic medical records. A total of 67 compliant biopsies were performed in 63 patients (two had two biopsies, and one had three biopsies). There were 32 males and 31 females with an average age of 50 (range, 15–84 years). Of the 67 biopsies, five were non-diagnostic and inaccurate and thus unsuccessful (7 %); five were diagnostic but inaccurate and thus unsuccessful (7 %); 57 were diagnostic and accurate thus successful (85 %). These results were comparable with results published in the radiology literature.


The success rate of CT-guided biopsies using a low-dose protocol is comparable to published rates for conventional dose biopsies. The implemented low-dose protocol did not change the success rate of CT-guided musculoskeletal biopsies.


CT-guided biopsy  Low-dose CT Bone and soft tissue tumors 


Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© ISS 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kambiz Motamedi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Benjamin D. Levine
    • 1
  • Leanne L. Seeger
    • 1
  • Michael F. McNitt-Gray
    • 1
  1. 1.UCLA Health System, RadiologyLos AngelesUSA

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