Percutaneous needle biopsy of retroperitoneal lesions: technical developments

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Andrea Bevilacqua
Fabiano Vito D'Amuri
Francesco Pagnini
Vittorio Sabatino
Umberto Russo
Nicola Maggialetti
Pierpaolo Palumbo
Silvia Pradella
Andrea Giovagnoni
Vittorio Miele
Massimo De Filippo


Biopsy, Retroperitoneum, Tumor, Computed tomography


Percutaneous Needle Biopsy (PNB) is the insertion of a needle into a suspected lesion or an organ with the aim to obtain cells or tissue for diagnosis. It’s a relatively non-invasive procedure and is performed by radiologist under guidance of imaging techniques such as ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), fluoroscopy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography CT (PET-CT). The choice of imaging technique depends on the evaluation of the target lesion and patient compliance. PNB includes two categories: fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) that is the use of a thin needle (18-25 gauge) to extract cells for cytological evaluation; and core needle biopsy (CNB) that is the use of a larger needle (9-20 gauge) to extract a piece of tissue for histological evaluation. The indications for biopsy are the characterization of nature (benign or malignant) of a lesion, diagnosis and staging of tumor, and biological or immunohistochemical/genetic analisys on tissue. Success of PNB is the procurement of sufficient material to characterize lesions and to guide the patient outcome.  Major complications are rare. PNB became a useful technique in diagnosis and study of retroperitoneal lesions, because of a more suitable access to specific intra-abdominal structures, lowering the risk of injury of interposed structures (such as bowel, great vessels).


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