Radiofrequency-assisted intact specimen biopsy of breast tumors: Critical evaluation according to the IDEAL recommendations

Suzanne C E Diepstraten, Helena M. Verkooijen, Paul J. Van Diest, Wouter B. Veldhuis, Arancha M. Fernandez-Gallardo, Katya M. Duvivier, Arjen J. Witkamp, Thijs Van Dalen, Willem P Th M Mali, Maurice A A J Van Den Bosch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Radiofrequency-assisted intact specimen biopsy (RFIB) has been introduced for percutaneous biopsy or removal of breast tumors. Using radiofrequency cutting, the system enables the radiologist to obtain an intact sample of the target lesion. According to the IDEAL recommendations, we performed a critical evaluation of our initial experience with RFIB. Between June and November 2010, radiography-guided RFIB was performed in 19 female patients. All patients presented with suspicious microcalcifications (BI-RADS III-V) on mammography. Biopsy specimen integrity, thermal damage and histologic diagnosis were assessed by an expert breast pathologist. Data on technical success, diagnostic and therapeutic accuracy and periprocedural complications were collected and analyzed. The median age of the patients was 59 years. Median lesion diameter on mammography was 8mm (range 2-76 mm). The procedure was successful in 16/19 (84%) patients and unsuccessful in 3/19 (16%) patients (2 non-representative samples, 1 sample with extensive thermal damage). Histologic analysis of the RFIB specimen revealed 12/19 (63%) benign lesions and 7/19 (37%) malignancies (4 ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) lesions and 3 invasive ductal carcinomas). In 1 patient, a DCIS lesion was completely removed with RFIB. Overall, 3 periprocedural complications occurred (1 wound leakage, 1 arterial hemorrhage and 1 infection requiring oral antibiotics). Tissue sampling of suspicious breast lesions can be performed successfully with RFIB. In 1 patient DCIS was radically excised with RFIB, which illustrates its potential as a minimally invasive therapeutic procedure for removal of small breast tumors. This is an interesting focus for further research when larger probe sizes become available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-252
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast biopsy
  • Breast cancer
  • Percutaneous excision
  • Stereotactic
  • Thermal artifact

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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