Comparison of powered drill & manual bone biopsy systems: Does the diagnostic yield justify the cost?

Eric H. Huh, Paul H. Yi, David M. Ray, Lawrence C.H. Hsu, Ferdinand K. Hui, Majid Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Bone biopsies are traditionally performed using manual drill devices. More recently, powered drill biopsy systems have been developed, ostensibly to improve diagnostic yield. We compare the powered drill biopsy system to traditional manual needle devices on the basis of diagnostic yield, specimen size and material costs. 309 consecutive bone biopsy procedures performed with imaging guidance from a single academic institution were retrospectively reviewed. Specimen diagnostic adequacy, qualitative interpretation of diagnostically inadequate specimens, aggregate specimen volume and material costs were assessed. Econometric analysis was performed to assess the relationship between materials cost and diagnostic yield. Diagnostic yield and average core specimen volume were significantly higher in the powered drill group, with 86% of cases yielding adequate biopsy specimens versus 67% of cases using the manual method. The materials cost associated with the powered drill device was higher than those of any of the manual needle devices with an average difference of $270.19 per case, however, this was offset due to higher diagnostic yield suggesting that the increased diagnostic accuracy achieved by the powered drill does not carry a significant added financial burden. The powered drill bone biopsy system results in a significantly higher yield of diagnostically adequate biopsy specimens compared to traditional manual needles, possibly attributed to larger and more intact obtained core specimen volumes and is more economically viable off-setting the higher cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Bone biopsy
  • Powered drill bone biopsy device
  • Spine intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Surgery


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