Vacuum biopsy in the UK
- MJ Michell1
© BioMed Central 2002
Published: 1 July 2002
The first vacuum-assisted core biopsy (VACB) apparatus in the UK was installed for clinical use with stereotactic guidance at King's College Hospital in 1998. Since then it has been incorporated into routine clinical practice for the assessment of non-palpable mammographic abnormalities, particularly microcalcification and areas of architectural distortion not visible on ultrasound examination, and more than 150 VACB procedures are carried out per year. There are now more than 50 VACB units in use in the UK.
Larger samples obtained
No repeat insertion of the needle necessary
Haematoma evacuated during the procedure
More tissue available for histological examination
Sampling effective when probe positioned several millimetres away from the lesion
Improved calcium retrieval rates, particularly from small clusters of indeterminate microcalcification
Fewer equivocal (B3, B4) results
Improved sensitivity for detection of invasive carcinoma in an area of ductal carcinoma in situ
Marker clip deployment when mammographic marker is removed.
The results of published studies together with data from the UK trial of 14G core biopsy versus 11G mammotome will be discussed, and a strategy for future development of the use of VACB in diagnostic and assessment centres in the UK will be suggested.