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Volume 10 Supplement 3

Symposium Mammographicum 2008

  • Oral presentation
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Comparison of vacuum biopsy systems

More than 15 years ago breast radiologists recognised the limitations of fine-needle aspiration and core biopsy as methods for accurate percutaneous breast diagnosis and a variety of different devices were developed to retrieve larger needle biopsy specimens. Vacuum-assisted mammotomy (VAM) has been the most successful of these methods. While core biopsy remains the method of choice for routine needle breast biopsy, VAM is now in routine use as a proven method for minimising the sampling error of subtle and borderline breast lesions and for therapeutic excision of benign breast lesions as an alternative to surgery. VAM achieves significant 50% reduction in understaging of premalignant and malignant disease.

VAM technology has been refined in recent years and there are now four different VAM devices available. All are designed for use under X-ray and ultrasound guidance. The third-generation devices are closed systems that use larger gauge probes to ensure that ample material can be rapidly acquired.

The latest devices are designed to be used with both prone table and upright X-ray equipment, and are particularly suitable for lateral approach stereotactic biopsy. Sensitivity rates for invasive and in situ carcinoma of 95% to 100% are achievable and VAM should now be considered routine for most stereotactic biopsy procedures. VAM can also be used routinely in place of surgery for the excision of benign lesions and for confirmation excision of papillary lesions and radial scars.

Comparative analyses of the current VAM devices will be presented.

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Wilson, R. Comparison of vacuum biopsy systems. Breast Cancer Res 10 (Suppl 3), P31 (2008).

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