Ultrasound-Guided Axillary Lymph Node Biopsy: Retrospective Analysis
Purpose: The aim of this work is a retrospective evaluation of axillary lymph node core biopsy, evaluation of safety of this biopsy method, and its contribution to the diagnosis and staging of breast cancer.
Method: From January 2014 to September 2018, 932 core biopsies were performed and out of this total, 164 biopsies were performed in the axilla. All nodes were evaluated by ultrasound as pathological or suspicious. Data were collected retrospectively. Out of the total number of axillary biopsies, 148 biopsies were performed in women with newly diagnosed breast cancer or with a history of breast cancer. Other biopsies were indicated based on an accidentally suspicious or pathological finding on screening mammography or at the request of the attending physician after another examination (e.g., PET/CT for another indication with a suspicious node in the axilla). Axillary core biopsy was performed. Data were evaluated using pivot tables in MS Excel.
Results: Out of the total number of axillary node biopsies, 148 biopsies were performed in patients associated with breast cancer. In these patients, metastasis of breast cancer was found in 124 cases, with the remainder having benign changes in the lymph nodes. The group included 16 patients with no history of breast cancer. No post-biopsy complications were reported in any of the cases.
Conclusion: Core biopsy of axillary lymph nodes is safe procedure and should be used routinely to diagnose metastases. The introduction of the core biopsy to the routine practice can contribute to the implementation of targeted axillary dissection.