Purpose: To evaluate different-caliber biopsy cutting needles in terms of the benefits and potential risk of bleeding in a swine model.
Materials and methods: A total of 190 sequential liver biopsy specimens were obtained in 11 Yorkshire pigs (weight, 50-70 lb [22.5-31.5 kg]) by using 14-, 18-, and 20-gauge cutting needles. For each biopsy procedure, blood loss was determined by weighing sponges used to absorb bleeding, and sample-tissue DNA content was measured with spectrofluorometry. Analysis of variance was used to compare results.
Results: The larger the caliber of needle, the greater the absolute blood loss (for 14-gauge, 1.69 g; for 18-gauge, 0.74 g; for 20-gauge, 0.32 g) and DNA content per sample (for 14 gauge, 40.38 microg; for 18-gauge, 12.18 microg; for 20-gauge, 5.86 microg). The ratio of blood loss to amount of DNA recovered did not differ among the different-caliber needles. To obtain the same amount of diagnostic tissue, more passes were needed with the smaller-caliber needles.
Conclusion: Use of larger-caliber needles is more efficient despite the greater amount of blood loss, because more tissue can be recovered and because fewer passes are necessary, which reduces the chances of complications.