Percutaneous needle biopsy of retroperitoneal lesions: technical developments

Acta Biomed. 2019 Apr 24;90(5-S):62-67. doi: 10.23750/abm.v90i5-S.8331.


Percutaneous Needle Biopsy (PNB) is the insertion of a needle into a suspected lesion or an organ with the aim to obtain cells or tissue for diagnosis. It's a relatively non-invasive procedure and is performed by radiologist under guidance of imaging techniques such as ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), fluoroscopy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography CT (PET-CT). The choice of imaging technique depends on the evaluation of the target lesion and patient compliance. PNB includes two categories: fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) that is the use of a thin needle (18-25 gauge) to extract cells for cytological evaluation; and core needle biopsy (CNB) that is the use of a larger needle (9-20 gauge) to extract a piece of tissue for histological evaluation. The indications for biopsy are the characterization of nature (benign or malignant) of a lesion, diagnosis and staging of tumor, and biological or immunohistochemical/genetic analisys on tissue. Success of PNB is the procurement of sufficient material to characterize lesions and to guide the patient outcome. Major complications are rare. PNB became a useful technique in diagnosis and study of retroperitoneal lesions, because of a more suitable access to specific intra-abdominal structures, lowering the risk of injury of interposed structures (such as bowel, great vessels).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Fine-Needle / methods*
  • Humans
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography / methods*
  • Retroperitoneal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Retroperitoneal Space
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color / methods*