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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Radionuclide-guided biopsy of bone lesions in cancer patients; a reliable, well-tolerated technique

E M von Meyenfeldt, J Siebenga, H A G van der Pol, W M J Schreurs, K W E Hulsewe
European Journal of Surgical Oncology 2014, 40 (2): 193-6
23932668

OBJECTIVES: In follow up or primary analysis of malignant disease, use of nuclear medicine imaging techniques is increasing. The lesions, detected by these modalities, do not always present with a matching radiological abnormality suitable for radiological biopsy. A method to confirm, or rule out, metastatic disease in these cases is radionuclide-guided surgical biopsy.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: The technique consists of injecting a Technetium-99m labelled diphosphonate, performing a bone scan and marking the lesion; under general anaesthetic a surgical biopsy is taken through a small incision guided by a gamma-probe. We evaluated the combined experience of two teaching hospitals, by conducting retrospective chart review, over a period of 5.5 years. Sixty-nine procedures with 79 biopsies were performed. The patients previously had breast cancer in 42%, lung cancer in 32%, both gastrointestinal and urological malignancies in 13%, miscellaneous or unknown origin were reported in 9%. In 68% a rib biopsy was taken, in 15% a pelvis biopsy and in 11% a sternum or clavicle biopsy.

RESULTS: In 46.8% metastatic disease was confirmed and in 2.6% a new malignancy (M Kahler) was identified. During a median clinical follow up period of 31 months (1-70), 1 initially negative biopsy site was found to contain a metastasis. Apart from local pain in 3% of cases, no complications were mentioned.

CONCLUSION: In conclusion we can state that, in this retrospective series, radionuclide-guided bone biopsy is a reliable, well-tolerated technique to determine the diagnosis of these lesions with a sensitivity of 97% and specificity of 100%.

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