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Percutaneous CT-guided biopsy of the spine: results of 430 biopsies

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Biopsies of lesions in the spine are often challenging procedures with significant risk of complications. CT-guided needle biopsies could lower these risks but uncertainties still exist about the diagnostic accuracy. Aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of CT-guided needle biopsies for bone lesions of the spine. We retrieved the results of 430 core needle biopsies carried out over the past fifteen years at the authors’ institute and examined the results obtained. Of the 430 biopsies performed, in 401 cases the right diagnosis was made with the first CT-guided needle biopsy (93.3% accuracy rate). Highest accuracy rates were obtained in primary and secondary malignant lesions. Most false negative results were found in cervical lesions and in benign, pseudotumoral, inflammatory, and systemic pathologies. There were only 9 complications (5 transient paresis, 4 haematomas that resolved spontaneously) that had no influence on the treatment strategy, nor on the patient’s outcome. In conclusion we can assert that this technique is reliable and safe and should be considered the gold standard in biopsies of the spine.

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Correspondence to Eric L. Staals.

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Rimondi, E., Staals, E.L., Errani, C. et al. Percutaneous CT-guided biopsy of the spine: results of 430 biopsies. Eur Spine J 17, 975–981 (2008).

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