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The impact of coaxial core biopsy guided by FDG PET/CT in oncological patients

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When deciding on therapy, FDG PET/CT-positive results should be confirmed by histology if possible. We evaluated the impact of percutaneous PET/CT-guided biopsies on histological confirmation of PET/CT-positive lesions.


We prospectively evaluated 126 patients who had undergone a PET/CT scan with positive results with an indication for histological evaluation of lesions. Imaging was performed in a PET/CT scanner with a fluoroscopic imaging system. A total of 130 lesions were accessed by PET/CT-guided biopsy. The technical feasibility, clinical success and complication rates of PET/CT-guided biopsies were evaluated.


Of 130 PET/CT-positive lesions, 128 (98.5 %) were successfully accessed and representative tissue samples obtained. Two lesions were reaccessed due to inconclusive histological results. Histology showed that 99 of the 130 lesions (76.2 %) were malignant, and 31 lesions (23.8 %) were benign (inflammatory cells or necrotic tissue); these patients had no recurrence of disease after a minimum follow-up of 6 months. Also, in 23 of the 130 lesions (17.7 %), the patient was referred for the PET/CT-guided biopsy due to a previous nontumoral biopsy result, and of these 23 lesions, 21 were found to be malignant. The complication rates were: pneumothorax in 15/130 (11.5 %; resolved spontaneously), haemoptysis in 2/130 (1.5 %) and severe haemothorax in 1/130 (0.8 %); there was no procedure-related mortality.


PET/CT-guided biopsy is feasible and may optimize the diagnostic yield of image-guided interventions. Also, PET/CT-positive lesions with no morphological correlation may now be accessible to percutaneous interventions.

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Correspondence to Juliano Julio Cerci.

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Cerci, J.J., Pereira Neto, C.C., Krauzer, C. et al. The impact of coaxial core biopsy guided by FDG PET/CT in oncological patients. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 40, 98–103 (2013).

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