Use of Imaging-Guided Biopsies Steadily Growing

Radiologists performing increasing share of biopsies across anatomical regions

TUESDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- Imaging-guided percutaneous biopsy (IGPB) as a percentage of all biopsies is steadily rising, and radiologists are performing an increasing percentage of biopsies, according to research published online June 29 in Radiology.

Sharon W. Kwan, M.D., of the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues used aggregated Medicare data to determine utilization of biopsy techniques in each of 10 anatomical areas from 1997 to 2008. The researchers assessed trends in the relative utilization of percutaneous needle biopsy (PNB) and IGPB over this time period.

The researchers found that utilization of non-percutaneous biopsies fell, while utilization of PNBs rose, with an overall compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3 percent for all types of biopsies combined. IGPB, as a percentage of all PNBs, increased over time for the anatomical regions for which data were available. The CAGR of biopsies performed by radiologists was 8 percent, and biopsies performed by radiologists increased from 35 to 56 percent over the study period.

"At the same time as the number of biopsies performed by non-radiologists as a whole fell, biopsy procedures performed by radiologists grew by a robust CAGR of 8 percent. However, the rate of growth appears to be slowing; CAGR was 6 percent in the second half of the period studied. One factor that might contribute to this slowdown is that other specialties are increasingly performing IGPBs. The data were inconsistent as to whether this is occurring," the authors write.

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Lindsey Marcellin

Lindsey Marcellin

Updated on June 29, 2010

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