Purpose: To Determine the value of percutaneous core needle biopsy in the investigation of a suspected bone neoplasm.
Material and methods: We performed a retrospective study of 91 core needle biopsies performed between May 1995 and October 2001. Patients were excluded if they had a known primary carcinoma or if an infection was suspected by clinical, physical or laboratory findings. The results were correlated to the analysis of the surgical piece or, for the 28 patients who did not undergo surgery, to the clinical evolution over more than 12 months.
Results: The final diagnosis was metastasis in 29 cases, primary bone tumor in 36 cases and benign lesions in 25 cases. Sensitivity was 92.3% and specificity was 97.4%. For primary malignant bone tumors, results respected histology features and grade in 79.2%. In cases of mistake, because of the correlation of these results to the clinical and radiological context, the treatment of the bony malignant lesions were adapted in 95.8% of cases. Only one major complication was reported in these 91 biopsies.
Conclusion: First intention core needle biopsy, confronted with radio-clinical context seems to have a place in the evaluation of bone lesions when a tumor is suspected. This technique, less expensive than an open biopsy and with fewer complications, is best performed as part of a multidisciplinary approach with the surgeon's collaboration.