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PURPOSE: The results of 106 radiologically guided core needle biopsies in 96 patients were analyzed retrospectively to evaluate the accuracy, safety, and role of this technique in the management of patients with lymphoma and to determine factors predictive of success. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Biopsies were performed in 51 patients with low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), 24 with high-grade NHL, 16 with previously diagnosed Hodgkin's disease (HD), and 15 with no previous history of lymphoma. Disease was infradiaphragmatic in 92 patients and supradiaphragmatic in 14. Computed tomography (CT) guidance was used in 98 biopsies and ultrasonography (US) in eight. RESULTS: The biopsy was diagnostic and yielded information on the basis of which treatment was started in 88 of 106 patients. The procedure was well tolerated and there were no major complications. Small size of the sample or inappropriate tissue sampled were the main causes of failure. The technique was equally successful in the diagnosis of HD and both high-grade and low-grade NHL as in nonlymphoproliferative disorders. The procedure was equally successful at diagnosis as at suspected recurrence or progression. In 33 of 80 cases in which the biopsy was performed at the time of recurrence or progression, the histology had changed; in 31 of 33, this influenced treatment. The technique was efficient at diagnosing transformation of follicular NHL in 16 of 18 patients, which allowed early adjustment of treatment at recurrence. CONCLUSION: At St Bartholomew's Hospital (SBH), image-guided core-needle biopsy has proven to be a quick, safe, and efficient alternative to excisional biopsy in the evaluation of lymphoproliferative disorders at presentation, recurrence, or progression. It should become the procedure of choice for histologic sampling in the absence of peripheral lymphadenopathy.

Original publication




Journal article


J clin oncol

Publication Date





2427 - 2430


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Biopsy, Needle, Hodgkin Disease, Humans, Lymphoma, Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin, Middle Aged, Radiography, Interventional, Retrospective Studies