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Breast Cancer Research

Volume 4 Supplement 1

Symposium Mammographicum 2002

Open Access

Multicentre evaluation of stereotactic vacuum biopsies of mammographically indeterminate or suspicious lesions

  • R Schulz-Wendtland1,
  • U Kettritz2,
  • I Schreer3,
  • M Murauer4,
  • K Rotter5 and
  • SH Heywang-Köbrunner5
Breast Cancer Research20024(Suppl 1):31

Published: 1 July 2002


CarcinomaCancer ResearchChest WallTechnical ProblemBenign Lesion


Vacuum biopsy (VB) promises excellent accuracy for indeterminate lesions, including microcalcifications. The purpose of this study is to check reproducibility and reliability in high quality breast centres.

Materials and method

From January 1996 to December 2000, more than 1,700 stereotactically guided vacuum biopsies (SVBs) were performed in five breast centres using a defined standard. The data shown here are based on an ongoing evaluation (presently 89% completed). Indications were ACR III 16%, ACR IVa (moderate suspicion) 63%, ACR IVb (suspicion) 63% and ACR V 5% of the cases.


An additional 1.5% examinations were scheduled but not performed (lesion too close to chest wall, microcalcifications not resolved). Among performed studies the examination was terminated due to technical problems in 0.9% (90% due to one biopsy table), bleeding (0.4%), or pain (0.1%). Nine per cent of cases proved to be invasive carcinomas, 13% ductal carinoma in situ (DCIS) and 4% atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH). In four benign lesions the pathologist recommended excisional biopsy, which confirmed the diagnoses. In the 73% benign lesions diagnostic surgery could be avoided.


Standardised stereotactic VB is very accurate, safe and cost effective.

Authors’ Affiliations

Institute of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
Breast Centre Berlin-Buch, University of Halle, Germany
Breast Centre, University of Kiel, Germany
Breast Centre, Deggendorf, University of Halle, Germany
Institute of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Halle, Germany


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  3. Schulz-Wendtland R, et al: Interventionelle methoden in der mammadiagnostik. Gynäkol Prax. 2002, 26: 63-78.Google Scholar


© BioMed Central 2002