Ultrasound-guided core-needle biopsies of cervical lymphadenopathies: a review


Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University hospitals Antwerp, Edegem, Belgium


Department of Otorhinolaryngology, HHZH Lier, Lier, Belgium


Department ofRadiology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

B-ENT 2019; 15: 1-6
Read: 463 Downloads: 373 Published: 28 January 2020

Objectives: Ultrasound-guided percutaneous core-needle biopsy (US-CNB) is a commonly used diagnostic tool for tissue analysis in patients with head and neck lymphadenopathies, and it is increasingly being used along with FNAC and excision biopsy. This review discusses the adequacy, sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy of this technique and reports the subclassification success rates in the diagnosis of lymphoma as well as potential complications.

Methodology: The PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane library databases were searched with the terms “core needle biopsy” or “core needle biopsies” as well as with each term in combination with the search terms “head or neck neoplasm,” “head and neck squamous cell carcinoma,” or “lymphadenopathy head or neck.”

Results: We identified 11 articles with quantitative results that fulfilled the inclusion criteria, 6 of which were analyzed to determine the sensitivity, specificity, diagnostic adequacy, and subclassification success rates. Data on complications were extracted from the remaining 5 articles. The overall diagnostic adequacy was 80.8%–93.6%, and the sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy rates were 94.7%-99.3%, 95%-100%, and 97%–99.5%, respectively. A subclassification success rate of 60%–90.5% was found for the diagnosis of lymphoma. The most frequently observed complications were minor hematomas (0.1%) and seeding of tumor cells (0.0011%).

Conclusion: US-CNB is a useful minimally invasive diagnostic procedure for cervical lymphadenopathies that has high diagnostic accuracy and minimal complication rates. In selected patient groups, this technique represents an optimal method to obtain a clear tissue diagnosis.

EISSN 2684-4907