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Use of Less Invasive, Imaging-Guided Biopsies on the Rise
Date:6/29/2010

Advanced imaging technologies have helped shift biopsy techniques away from more invasive approaches toward imaging-guided percutaneous—or through the skin—techniques, according to a new study appearing online and in the September print edition of the journal Radiology.

Oak Brook, IL (Vocus) June 29, 2010 -- Advanced imaging technologies have helped shift biopsy techniques away from more invasive approaches toward imaging-guided percutaneous—or through the skin—techniques, according to a new study appearing online and in the September print edition of the journal Radiology.

Biopsy—the removal of cells or tissue for microscopic examination—has a long history in medicine. The first percutaneous needle biopsy of the liver was reported in 1923, and the technique developed into an invaluable diagnostic tool in many organ systems.

The development of computed tomography (CT), ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), allowed physicians to use advanced imaging guidance with biopsies. Imaging-guided percutaneous needle biopsies achieve greater precision in targeting lesions, resulting in high sensitivities and low complication rates.

For the study, researchers looked for biopsy trends in Medicare claims data from 1997 through 2008 for 10 anatomical regions. Biopsy procedures increased from 1,380 per 100,000 Medicare enrollees in 1997 to 1,945 biopsies in 2008, representing a compound annual growth rate of 3 percent. In 2008, 67 percent of all biopsies were performed percutaneously, compared to 59 percent in 1997.

"We also found that the use of imaging guidance increased over this time perio
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