Core Needle Biopsy and Fine Needle Aspiration Alone or in Combination: Diagnostic Accuracy and Impact on Management of Renal Masses

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Abstract

Purpose:

Fine needle aspiration with and without concurrent core needle biopsy is a minimally invasive method to diagnose and assist in management of renal masses. We assessed the pathological accuracy of fine needle aspiration compared to and associated with core needle biopsy and the impact on management.

Materials and Methods:

We performed a single institution, retrospective study of 342 cases from 2001 to 2015 with small and large renal masses (4 or less and greater than 4 cm, respectively). Diagnostic and concordance rates, and the impact on management were analyzed.

Results:

Adequacy rates for fine needle aspiration only, core needle biopsy only and fine needle aspiration plus core needle biopsy were 21%, 12% and 8% (aspiration vs aspiration plus biopsy p <0.026). In the aspiration plus biopsy group adding aspiration to biopsy and biopsy to aspiration reduced the inadequacy rate from 23% to 8% and from 27% to 8% for a total reduction rate of 15% and 19%, respectively, corresponding to 32 cases (9.3%). Rapid on-site examination contributed to a 22.5% improvement in fine needle aspiration adequacy rates. In this cohort 30% of aspiration only, 5% of biopsy only and 12% of aspiration plus biopsy could not be subtyped (aspiration vs biopsy p <0.0001, aspiration vs aspiration plus biopsy p <0.0127 and biopsy vs aspiration plus biopsy p = 0.06). The diagnostic concordance rate with surgical resection was 99%. Conversion of an inadequate specimen to an adequate one by a concurrent procedure impacted treatment in at least 29 of 32 patients. Limitations include the retrospective design and accuracy measurement based on surgical intervention.

Conclusions:

Fine needle aspiration plus core needle biopsy vs at least fine needle aspiration alone may improve diagnostic yield when sampling renal masses but it has subtyping potential similar to that of core needle biopsy only.

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