Biopsies involve the removal of tissue so it can be examined by a pathologist for disease. At Northeast Radiology biopsies are performed by our specialty trained radiologists and guided by CT, MRI, Ultrasound, and Stereotactic Imaging. Our physicians use needles, guided by the appropriate imaging modality, for real time guidance to collect tissue samples.
A biopsy is only performed after your healthcare provider and our radiologist have discussed your case and reviewed your images.
When a nodule, or other abnormality, is identified (by physical examination or an imaging study), the first response is to see if imaging can determine if the abnormality is benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). When imaging alone cannot clearly define the diagnosis a minimally invasive biopsy may be required.
Many minimally invasive biopsies can be done by our radiologists using needles and are performed at our fully biopsy accredited imaging centers. Some biopsies, however, will require surgery by a surgical specialist at a hospital or a surgical center.
Our radiologist use three types of biopsy needles to collect tissue or fluid samples. The needle type used depends on the study required for accurate diagnosis.
A fine needle (often smaller than a needle used to draw blood), attached to a syringe, may be used.
A core needle, which is connected to a hollow receptacle, covered with a sheath, and activated by a spring-loaded mechanism to cut a core tissue sample, may be used.
A vacuum-assisted device which uses the vacuum to suck or pull tissue into the hollow receptacle and obtain samples, may be used.
The location of the tissue to be studied often determines whether the biopsy will be guided by CT, MRI, Ultrasound, or Stereotactic (mammography-guided). Most biopsy procedures performed are guided by either MRI, which uses magnetic resonance, or Ultrasound, which uses sound waves, as no radiation dose is required with MRI or Ultrasound.
There is no single accreditation of imaging guided biopsies because the guidance is provided by multiple types of radiology equipment: CT, MRI, Ultrasound, and Stereotactic (mammography guided) as well as additional requirements for breast imaging accreditation. Northeast Radiology has all ACR® accreditations. Please check within the above linked sections for the standards used by ACR® before granting accreditation.
Very detailed imaging guided biopsy procedure information is available to you. Northeast Radiology is a member of both the American College of Radiology (ACR®) and the Radiology Society of North America (RSNA®). These two premier organizations have jointly developed Radiologyinfo.org as the radiology information resource for patients.
Radiologyinfo.org provides a wealth of useful information. It tells you how various biopsy procedures are performed. It also addresses what you may experience and how to prepare for the exams. This website describes five (5) of the most common image-guided biopsy procedures and is updated frequently with new information. Please click on the links below for additional information:
All material on the Radiologyinfo.org website is reviewed and approved by experts in the field of radiology from the ACR® and RSNA®, as well as other professional radiology organizations. This website is updated frequently with new information.