Percutaneous transpedicular biopsy of vertebral body lesions

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1996 Sep 1;21(17):2035-40. doi: 10.1097/00007632-199609010-00022.


Study design: This prospective study evaluates the use of transpedicular biopsy in obtaining diagnostic tissue from vertebral body lesions.

Objective: To report the authors' experience of all (N = 32) percutaneous transpedicular biopsies performed between 1990-1994.

Summary of background data: Previous articles have discussed the value of open biopsy of the vertebral body using a Craig needle. A large series of closed percutaneous transpedicular biopsies have not been reported.

Methods: The authors evaluated 32 patients (26 outpatients, six inpatients) who underwent transpedicular biopsy for T1-L4 lesions of the vertebral bodies. None of the tumors had an extraosseous component. Biopsy specimens were obtained from 25 lesions using C-arm fluoroscopy; seven were guided by computed tomography. All biopsies were performed with a 14- to 17-gauge bone biopsy needle.

Results: The needle passed through the pedicle into the site of disease in all patients, as confirmed by C-arm fluoroscopy or computed tomography. There were 22 malignancies; four isolated compression fractures, two at T6, one at T7, one at T8; four cases of infection or inflammation; and one case each of Paget's disease and myelofibrosis. Two patients required a second biopsy because the tissue sample was suspicious for lymphoma but not diagnostic. All 26 outpatients were discharged after a 2-hour observation period. There were no complications.

Conclusion: Transpedicular biopsy of deep vertebral body lesions using a bone biopsy needle under computed tomography or fluoroscopy guidance can be performed safely and efficaciously as an outpatient procedure.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy, Needle / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Spinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Spinal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Diseases / pathology
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / pathology*