European Radiology

, Volume 20, Issue 8, pp 2000–2004 | Cite as

A trucut biopsy needle for bipolar radiofrequency ablation of needle tract: a proof-of-concept experiment

  • Philipp BrunersEmail author
  • Tobias Penzkofer
  • Peter Isfort
  • Jochen Pfeffer
  • Thomas Schmitz-Rode
  • Rolf W. Günther
  • Andreas H. Mahnken



To develop a trucut biopsy needle featuring two electrodes that allow for bipolar radiofrequency (RF) coagulation of the puncture tract.


We modified a 14-G trucut biopsy needle to contain two insulated electrodes and connected the device to an RF generator. Biopsies in ex vivo porcine liver and kidney were performed. The puncture tract was coagulated by using different RF energy settings (5 W, 10 W, 20 W). Tissue specimens were dissected along the puncture tract and the coagulation area was macroscopically evaluated. CT-guided in vivo liver and kidney biopsies were performed in two domestic pigs. Lengths of specimens were measured. Post-biopsy contrast-enhanced CT examinations were performed to rule out biopsy-related bleeding. Animals were euthanised and coagulation areas macroscopically explored.


The mean diameters of the coagulated area around the ex vivo biopsy tract were 4.2 ± 1.1 mm (5 W), 6.0 ± 2.0 mm (10 W) and 5.2 ± 0.51 mm (20 W) in liver and 5.0 ± 0.7 mm (5 W), 6.6 ± 0.9 (10 W) and 6.0 ± 2.0 mm (20 W) in kidney. After biopsies CT revealed no bleeding. Mean maximum coagulation diameters were 10.1 ± 4.6 mm (10 W) in liver and 6.0 ± 2.5 mm (10 W) in kidney. Mean length of the specimens was 12.2 ± 4.4 mm in kidney and 11.1 ± 3.6 mm in liver tissue.


Bipolar RF biopsy is a promising tool for tract coagulation after percutaneous biopsy.


Biopsy Radiofrequency ablation Trucut Bleeding Tumour cell seeding 


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philipp Bruners
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tobias Penzkofer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter Isfort
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jochen Pfeffer
    • 1
  • Thomas Schmitz-Rode
    • 1
  • Rolf W. Günther
    • 2
  • Andreas H. Mahnken
    • 2
  1. 1.Applied Medical Engineering, Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical EngineeringRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University HospitalRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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