Ultrasound-guided core biopsy is a safe and feasible procedure for the histologic diagnosis of small renal masses, according to a recent study.

Sung Yoon Park, MD, and colleagues at Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, Korea, studied 58 patients who underwent ultrasound-guided core biopsies of small renal masses (greater than 1 cm but not more than 4 cm). A total of 59 biopsies were performed. The diagnostic rate was 81% (48 of 59), the researchers reported in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology (2013;24:90-96). Of the diagnostic biopsy specimens, 37 (77%) were malignant and 11 (23%) were benign.

Minor complications developed in 12 (20.3%) of the 59 biopsies. A cystic mass, three or fewer cores sampled, an upper pole mass, and a small mass (2 cm or less) significantly predicted a non-diagnostic biopsy specimen, according to the investigators.

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