CT Guided Biopsies

A biopsy involves removing a small piece of tissue for examination by a physician. A needle biopsy, sometimes called a needle aspiration is the easiest way that tissue can be safely removed from the body. The procedure, which is most often performed by a radiologist or interventional radiologist involves a needle that is inserted through the skin. The needle biopsy may use a syringe or an automated needle to obtain the tissue sample.

CT can be used to direct biopsies in many parts of the body including lung nodules, masses in the neck or lesions in the abdomen including the liver and lymph nodes. A nodule is defined as a relatively round lesion that is less than three centimeters in diameter. A lung nodule is located within the lung itself, not in the airways. A patient with a lung nodule usually experiences no symptoms; the nodule is most often detected on a chest x-ray.

More than half of solitary or single nodules within the chest are benign, or non-cancerous, usually due to a previous infection. However, all solitary chest nodules are considered potentially malignant until proven otherwise, and for this a needle biopsy may be required.

For more information on the procedure visit radiologyinfo.org (CT Guided Biopsies).