Stereotactic biopsy of intracranial brain lesions: High diagnostic yield without increased complications: 65 consecutive biopsies with early postoperative CT scans

Michael J. Fritsch, Mark J. Leber, Lynne Gossett, Bruce A. Lulu, Allan J Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Diagnostic yield and complication rate were analyzed for a series of 65 consecutive stereotactic biopsies of intra-axial brain lesions. The diagnostic yield was 98.5 ± 1.5% and the complication rate was 1.5%. A median number of 14 biopsies (range 1-48) were taken per lesion. The biopsy sites followed a clockwise pattern, going from the superficial margin to the center and the deep margin of the lesion with respect to the inner table of the skull. A side window cannula biopsy needle was used. All patients underwent immediate postoperative CT scans within 4 h of biopsy to rule out intracranial complications. All patients were discharged within 24 h after biopsy, unless medical reasons unrelated to the biopsy required further hospitalization. We attribute the high diagnostic yield in our series to the high number of systematically taken biopsies per lesion. The higher number of biopsies did not lead to an increase in complications. From our experience, it appears safe to discharge patients the same day or within 24 h after a stereotactic biopsy if the postoperative CT shows no complication. Stereotactic biopsy could often safely be performed on an outpatient basis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-42
Number of pages7
JournalStereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998



  • Brain lesion
  • Diagnostic specificity
  • Stereotactic biopsy
  • Surgical complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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