Guidelines from the European Society of Breast Imaging for diagnostic interventional breast procedures

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The aim of the breast team is to obtain a definitive, nonoperative diagnosis of all potential breast abnormalities in a timely and cost-effective way. Percutaneous needle biopsy with its high sensitivity and specificity should now be standard practice, removing the need for open surgical biopsy or frozen section. For patients with cancer, needle biopsy provides a cost-effective and rapid way of providing not only a definitive diagnosis but prognostic information, allowing prompt discussion of treatment options, be they surgical or medical. Early removal of uncertainty also allows better psychosocial adjustment to the disease. Patients with benign conditions found either by themselves or as a result of population or opportunistic screening can be promptly reassured and discharged, removing the health care and psychological costs of surgical biopsy or repeated follow-up. Radiologists involved in breast imaging should ensure that they have the necessary skills to carry out core biopsy and/or fine-needle aspiration (FNA) under all forms of image guidance. This paper provides guidelines on best practice for diagnostic interventional breast procedures and standards, against which all practitioners should audit themselves, from the European Society of Breast Imaging.

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Correspondence to Matthew Wallis.

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On behalf of EUSOBI Committee (see:

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Wallis, M., Tarvidon, A., Helbich, T. et al. Guidelines from the European Society of Breast Imaging for diagnostic interventional breast procedures. Eur Radiol 17, 581–588 (2007).

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  • Breast cancer
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Needle biopsy
  • Guidelines