BACKGROUND: Image-guided percutaneous core needle biopsy is a common procedure for diagnosis of both solid tumors and hematological malignancies in children. Despite recent improvements, a certain rate of non-diagnostic biopsies persists.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the factors influencing the diagnostic yield and accuracy of percutaneous core needle biopsies of pediatric tumors.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a single-center retrospective study of a 26-year experience with image-guided biopsies in children and young adults. Using uni- and multivariate analysis, we evaluated the association of diagnostic yield and accuracy with technical factors (image-guided procedure, pathological technique) and clinical factors (complication rate, histological type and anatomical location).
RESULTS: We retrieved data relating to 396 biopsies were performed in 363 children and young adults (mean age: 7.4 years). Overall, percutaneous core needle biopsy showed a diagnostic yield of 89.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] 85.9-92.2) and an accuracy of 90.9% (CI 87.6-93.6) with a complication rate of 2.5% (CI 1.2-4.6).The diagnostic yield increased with the use of advanced tissue assessment techniques (95.7% with immunohistochemistry versus 82.3% without immunohistochemistry; P < 0.0001) and an increased number of passes (mean: 3.96 for diagnostic biopsies versus 3.62 for non-diagnostic biopsies; P = 0.044).
CONCLUSION: The use of advanced pathological techniques and an increased number of passes are the two main factors influencing the diagnostic success of biopsies in pediatric tumors.