Percutaneous abdominal biopsy: cost-identification analysis

Radiology. 1998 Feb;206(2):429-35. doi: 10.1148/radiology.206.2.9457196.


Purpose: To determine the difference in cost to providers of percutaneous abdominal biopsy as the first strategy versus surgical biopsy.

Materials and methods: Cost of tissue diagnosis determination with percutaneous biopsy as the first strategy in 439 patients with an abdominal mass was estimated. Costs included direct hospital costs and professional costs of initial and repeat biopsy, follow-up imaging and clinic visits, surgical biopsy (when needed), and treatment of complications. The sum of these costs was compared with the estimated cost had the same patients undergone surgical biopsy instead, with no complications or need for follow-up or repeat biopsy.

Results: The total estimated cost of percutaneous biopsy as the first strategy ($543,245) was less than the cost had surgical biopsy been used alone ($1,919,867). The average per patient direct hospital cost of percutaneous biopsy ($800) was lower than that of surgical biopsy ($3,419). The average per patient professional cost of percutaneous biopsy ($438) was also lower than that of surgical biopsy ($955). Savings averaged $3,136 per patient, or $1,376,622 for the study period.

Conclusion: Substantial health care cost savings may result by using a diagnostic algorithm in which percutaneous biopsy is the first strategy for establishment of a diagnosis in patients suspected of having abdominal malignancy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Neoplasms / economics*
  • Abdominal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Algorithms
  • Biopsy / adverse effects
  • Biopsy / economics*
  • Biopsy / methods*
  • Cost Savings
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospital Costs
  • Humans
  • Radiology, Interventional / economics
  • Time Factors