Missed breast cancers at us-guided core needle biopsy: How to reduce them

Hyun Youk Ji, Eun Kyung Kim, Jung Kim Min, Young Lee Ji, Keun Oh Ki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

132 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrasonographically (US) guided core needle biopsy is currently recognized as a reliable alternative to surgical biopsy for the histopathologic diagnosis of breast lesions. However, despite advances in biopsy devices and techniques, false-negative diagnoses are unavoidable and may delay the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. The most common reasons for false-negative diagnosis are (a) technical or sampling errors, (b) failure to recognize or act on radiologic-histologic discordance, and (c) lack of imaging follow-up after a benign biopsy result. Technical difficulties (eg, poor lesion or needle visualization, deeply located lesions, dense fibrotic tissue) cause inaccurate sampling but can be reduced by using modified standard techniques. Radiologic-histologic correlation is also of critical importance in US-guided core needle biopsy. Radiologic-histologic discordance occurs when the histologic results do not provide a sufficient explanation for the imaging features and indicates that the lesion may not have been sampled adequately, so that repeat biopsy is warranted. Appropriate follow-up imaging is invaluable; even patients with concordant benign findings after US-guided core needle biopsy are directed to undergo follow-up imaging because there may be delays in the recognition of false-negative findings. Optimization of technique, radiologic-histologic correlation, and postbiopsy follow-up protocols are recommended to reduce the occurrence of false-negative diagnosis at US-guided core needle biopsy performed by radiologists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-94
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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