Percutaneous wide bore needle biopsy for spinal lesions using the kyphoplasty cannula-a technical note

Eur Spine J. 2021 Oct;30(10):2852-2856. doi: 10.1007/s00586-021-06819-y. Epub 2021 Mar 26.


Purpose: Management of vertebral and discovertebral lesions depends on highly specific modalities like biopsy and histopathology. The transpedicular and transforaminal routes have gained popularity for obtaining samples for diagnosing these lesions. Sample inadequacy plays an important part in lowering the diagnostic accuracy. Present study introduces a technical modification by using a kyphoplasty cannula and pituitary forceps through it thus improving sample adequacy and diagnostic accuracy.

Methods: Seventy-one patients with radiological evidence of spinal lesions from T1 to S1 were included. After obtaining samples via the transpedicular route they were sent for aerobic, anaerobic, acid fast bacilli & fungal cultures, Mycobacterium Tuberculosis/Radio Immuno Frequency (MTB/RIF) Assay and histopathological examination. In lesions with minimal vertebral erosions the transforaminal route was used to obtain samples from the disc space.

Results: Sixty-eight patients (95.8%) had a definite diagnosis of which 37 patients (54.4%) tested positive for vertebral osteomyelitis/discitis. All the samples were found to be adequate on histopathological examination. The remaining 3 patients showed chronic inflammation and responded to oral and intravenous antibiotics. None of the patients underwent repeat biopsy. There were no perioperative complications.

Conclusions: Percutaneous transpedicular biopsy has evolved as the intervention of choice in diagnosing radiologically proven vertebral body lesions. Our technique of using a pituitary forceps through a cannula is highly effective in getting an adequate representative sample with excellent accuracy in diagnosis. This procedure is beneficial for soft tissue lesions and for infective pathology especially discitis.

Keywords: Biopsy; Kyphoplasty cannula; Spinal lesions.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Cannula
  • Humans
  • Kyphoplasty*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae
  • Thoracic Vertebrae