OBJECTIVE: The objective of our study was to determine the accuracy of imaging-guided percutaneous renal mass biopsy and its impact on clinical management.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: With institutional review board approval, we retrospectively reviewed imaging-guided renal biopsies performed by radiologists at our institution between February 1999 and July 2005. Patient records, pathology reports, and imaging studies were reviewed. Concordance of biopsy diagnosis and follow-up data was assessed. Significant impact on clinical management was determined in collaboration with two experienced urologists and was defined as a change from no therapy to therapy, including surgery, tumor ablation, chemotherapy, or radiation.
RESULTS: Two hundred seventy-six renal biopsies were performed during the study period. Of these, 123 were random biopsies and fine-needle technique was used for one; these 124 were excluded. One hundred fifty-two renal mass biopsies were performed using coaxial 18-gauge core needle technique in 125 patients (55 women, 70 men; average age, 60 years; range, 28-90 years). There were two (1.3%) postprocedural hematomas (one [0.7%] requiring blood transfusion) and one (0.7%) delayed renal pseudoaneurysm attributed to biopsy. No tumor seeding was identified. In 85 biopsies (56%), malignant neoplasm was found, 61 biopsies (40%) yielded benign findings, and six (4%) were nondiagnostic. The sensitivity for malignancy was 97.7%; specificity, 100%; positive predictive value, 100%; and negative predictive value, 100%. At least 92 (60.5%) biopsy results significantly impacted clinical management.
CONCLUSION: Imaging-guided percutaneous core needle biopsy of renal masses is safe and highly accurate. Tissue diagnosis alters clinical decision making in a majority of the cases and may allow a number of unnecessary nephrectomies to be avoided.
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