The Value of Percutaneous Core Needle Biopsy in the Diagnosis of Anterior Mediastinal Tumors


Department of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Division, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, TEHRAN-IRAN.


Background: Tissue diagnosis of anterior mediastinal tumors is very important for making correct therapeutic decision. To evaluate the value of performing percutaneous core needle biopsy in these tumors, we decided to perform this study. Materials and Methods: CT guided core needle biopsy was performed in 17 patients with anterior mediastinal tumor during an18-month period. The biopsy specimens were sent for histopathological study, and if the result was not definite, immunohistochemical studies were performed. Results: Percutaneous core needle biopsy provided adequate material in 15 from 17 cases. Of these 17 patients, 15 were diagnosed correctly by percutaneous core needle biopsy whereas 2 were not diagnosed definitely (one was “ spindle cell tumor” and another one was “suggestive for lymphoma”). The procedure was technically successful in 15 cases, and no complications occurred. Conclusion: CT-guided core needle biopsy of the anterior mediastinal tumors may be a safe, cost-effective and reliable method which can provide a precise diagnosis in the majority of mediastinal tumors and may obviate the need for anterior mediastinotomy or exploratory thoracotomy in cases which are medically treatable or non-resectable. (Tanaffos 2004; 3(9): 7-11)