Breast masses: removal of all US evidence during biopsy by using a handheld vacuum-assisted device--initial experience

Radiology. 2003 May;227(2):549-55. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2272020476. Epub 2003 Apr 3.


Purpose: To assess the effects of removal of all ultrasonographic (US) evidence of breast lesions by using a vacuum-assisted biopsy (VAB) device.

Materials and methods: Thirty-four women with breast masses underwent US-guided biopsy with an 11-gauge VAB device, with which removal of all evidence of the lesion was attempted. Histologic findings were compared with results of surgery and follow-up imaging. Patient tolerance and perceptions of the procedure and the ability of the procedure to eliminate a palpable finding were evaluated with questionnaires and findings at follow-up physical examination.

Results: The biopsy protocol was completed in all cases. Twenty-six benign lesions (76%) and eight malignancies (24%) were diagnosed. After VAB, 10 patients (29%) underwent surgery on the basis of histologic findings of invasive carcinoma (n = 7), ductal carcinoma in situ (n = 1), lobular neoplasia (n = 1), or atypical ductal hyperplasia (n = 1). VAB resulted in complete excision of four of 10 lesions: two of eight malignancies and two of two benign lesions. Among 21 patients with benign lesions who underwent 6-month follow-up imaging, eight (38%) had a definite residual mass. At 6-month follow-up examination, VAB was seen to have eliminated the palpable abnormality in seven (88%) of eight patients with initially palpable benign masses. Thirty-two patients (94%) described no or mild pain during biopsy, and 33 patients (97%) rated care as excellent.

Conclusion: After removal of all US evidence of breast masses with a VAB device, there was a substantial probability that residual lesion that was not visualized during the procedure would later be found at surgery or follow-up imaging. A palpable mass (< or =1.2 cm in mean diameter) was eliminated in 88% of cases, and patient tolerance and perceptions of the procedure were favorable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy / instrumentation*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Period*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Ultrasonography