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Usefulness of magnetic resonance imaging-guided vacuum-assisted breast biopsy in Korean women: a pilot study

Yeong Yi An1, Sung Hun Kim2, Bong Joo Kang2* and Jae Hee Lee3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiology, St. Vincent’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 93 Ji-Dong, Paldal-Ku, Suwon, Kyunggi-do 442-723, Republic of Korea

2 Department of Radiology, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 505 Banpo-Dong, Seocho-Ku, Seoul 137-040, Republic of Korea

3 Breast Clinic, Human Medical Imaging and Intervention Center, 12-25 Jamwon-Dong, Seocho-Ku, Seoul 137-902, Republic of Korea

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World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2013, 11:200  doi:10.1186/1477-7819-11-200

Published: 16 August 2013



Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided vacuum-assisted biopsy is the technique of choice for lesions that are visible only with breast MRI. The purpose of this study was to report our clinical experience with MRI-guided vacuum-assisted biopsy in Korean women.


A total of 13 patients with 15 lesions for MRI-guided vacuum-assisted biopsy were prospectively entered into this study between September 2009 and November 2011. Biopsy samples were obtained in a 3-T magnet using a 9-guage MRI-compatible vacuum-assisted biopsy device. We evaluated clinical indications for biopsy, lesion characteristics on prebiopsy MRI, pathologic results, and postbiopsy complication status.


The clinical indications for MRI-guided vacuum-assisted biopsy were as follows: abnormalities in patients with interstitial mammoplasty on screening MRI (n = 10); preoperative evaluation of patients with a recently diagnosed cancer (n = 3); and suspicious recurrence on follow-up MRI after cancer surgery (n = 1) or chemotherapy (n = 1). All lesions have morphologic features suspicious or highly suggestive of malignancy by the American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System category of MRI (C4a = 12, C4b = 2, C5 = 1). In two of the 15 lesions (13.3%, <6 mm), MRI-guided 9-gauge vacuum-assisted breast biopsy was deferred due to nonvisualization of the MRI findings that led to biopsy and the lesions were stable or disappeared on follow up so were considered benign. Of 13 biopsied lesions, pathology revealed four malignancies (4/13, 30.8%; mean size 15.5 mm) and nine benign lesions (9/13, 69.2%; size 14.2 mm). Immediate postprocedural hematoma (mean size 23.5 mm) was observed in eight out of 13 patients (61.5%) and was controlled conservatively.


Our initial experience of MRI-guided vacuum-assisted biopsy showed a success rate of 86.7% and a cancer diagnosis rate of 30.8%, which was quite satisfactory. MRI-guided vacuum-assisted breast biopsy is a safe and effective tool for the workup of suspicious lesions seen on breast MRI alone without major complication. This biopsy may contribute to the early diagnosis of breast cancer in interstitial mammoplasty patients in Korea.