June 23, 2009 — Researchers have developed a new
breast biopsy technique that could lead to decreased procedure times and reduced
patient discomfort and morbidity, according to a study performed at Roberts
Research Institute, the University of
Western Ontario and London Health
Sciences Centre, London,
ON, Canada. The new technique uses a
mechanical arm to guide the needle for the biopsy and has a braking system to
allow for accurate placement of the needle and to avoid needle motion.
biopsy procedures, using both methods, were performed on phantoms during the
study. “Our results showed that biopsy success rates were greater when using our
new guidance system,” said Aaron Fenster, MD, lead author of the study. “We also
showed that experienced and inexperienced radiologists performed a biopsy
significantly faster when using our needle guidance system,” said Dr. Fenster.
The success rate using the needle guidance system was 95.9% compared to a
success rate of 91.3% using the freehand technique. Using the freehand
technique, experienced radiologists had a procedure time of approximately 31
seconds. Using the needle guidance system, experienced radiologists had a
procedure time of approximately 10 seconds.
“Techniques for improving biopsy
procedures are needed to make the procedures more efficient and reduce the
variability due to physician experience and size of the target lesion. Breast
biopsy using the developed needle guidance system is feasible and I believe it
will enable physicians to diagnose early-stage carcinomas more efficiently and
accurately, thus decreasing patient morbidity,” said Dr. Fenster.
system we designed is a prototype and is required to be redesigned for routine
clinical use. Tests with human subjects are planned for the fall of 2009,” he
— News release courtesy of The American
Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS)