Research Article| Volume 43, ISSUE 12, P2257-2260, December 2017

Stereotactic vacuum-assisted breast biopsy: Comparison between 11- and 8-gauge needles

Published:October 06, 2017DOI:



      The 11-gauge (11G) stereotactic vacuum-assisted breast biopsy (VABB) showed a better profile than 14G-VABB in terms of feasibility, safety, microcalcification sampling, and accuracy. Underestimation rates were significantly lower with 11G-VABB than with 14G-VABB. Thus, the introduction of an even larger needle at the VABB procedure could reduce this rate further. The purpose of this study was to compare the overall performance of stereotactic VABB with 8G and 11G needles.

      Materials and methods

      Four hundred and three VABBs performed between July 2012 and February 2015 at the Breast Diagnostic Unit of Careggi Hospital in Florence were retrospectively analyzed; 197 were performed with 11G-VABB and 206 with 8G-VABB. Lesions were classified according to mammographical patterns in microcalcifications, architectural distortions, or opacities, and all biopsy targets were classified according to BIRADS classification as BIRADS III, IV or V. Data were collected on radiological classification of targets, imaging presentation, procedure time, number of specimens per procedure, and microcalcification retrieval on histological findings. Surgery was always performed when high-risk or malignant lesions (B3 or B5) were detected; the final diagnosis was made on surgical pathology.


      Compared to VABB with an 11G needle, 8G-VABB allows a reduction in the time needed to complete the procedure (20.6 versus 27.4, P < 0.00001) and the number of specimens collected per lesion (21.6 versus 12.2, P < 0.00001). Moreover, 8G-VABB resulted in the same diagnostic accuracy, and the underestimation rates were comparable between the two groups for both B3 and DCIS lesions.


      The 8G needle should be considered as a valid alternative option in VABB for breast lesions.


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