Current practice in handling and reporting needle biopsies: A hospital-based survey

Indian J Pathol Microbiol. Apr-Jun 2018;61(2):197-200. doi: 10.4103/IJPM.IJPM_93_17.


Context: Core-needle biopsy (CNB) is a minimally invasive screening and diagnostic tool which provides intact tissue fragments for histopathological examination.

Aims: This study was conducted to review the current practices of handling and reporting CNBs performed for core-needle biopsies from four organ systems which are frequently encountered in our institution. These include breast, prostate, soft tissues, and lymph nodes.

Settings and design: This was a retrospective study conducted at a tertiary care hospital.

Materials and methods: CNB reports of breast, prostate, soft tissue, and lymph nodes were accessed and categorized based on the site of biopsy, number, and average length of the cores. The CNB reports were categorized into diagnostic or nondiagnostic. In case of diagnosis of malignancy, reports were recorded as structured or nonstructured reports.

Statistical analysis used: Fisher's exact test and Chi-square tests were applied to check the significance of the results obtained on comparing the number of cores and size of cores with the outcome of report.

Results: Out of 16,300 surgical pathology specimens received, 400 were CNBs comprising breast (n = 211), prostate (n = 108), soft tissue (n = 50), and lymph node (n = 31). Majority of the CNBs had 2-5 cores and the size of the core was ≥0.5 cm, which accounted for most of the reports which were diagnostic. There was a lack of clinical and radiological detail in many of the cases. Out of the malignant cases diagnosed, structured reports were given in 30% of breast, 79.3% of prostate, 41.7% soft tissue, and 60% of lymph node needle biopsies.

Conclusions: The audit helped to identify areas of improvement in CNB services.

Keywords: Breast; core needle biopsy; lymph node; prostate; soft tissue; survey.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Large-Core Needle / methods*
  • Biopsy, Large-Core Needle / statistics & numerical data*
  • Breast / cytology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / cytology
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostate / cytology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tertiary Care Centers / statistics & numerical data