Performance indices of needle biopsy procedures for the assessment of screen detected abnormalities in services accredited by breastscreen Australia

Gelareh Farshid, Thomas Sullivan, Simeon Jones, David Roder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: We wished to analyse patterns of use of needle biopsy procedures by BreastScreen Australia (BSA) accredited programs to identify areas for improvement. Design: BSA services provided anonymous data regarding percutaneous needle biopsy of screen detected lesions assessed between 2005-2009. Results: 12 services, from 5 of 7 Australian states and territories provided data for 18212 lesions biopsied. Preoperative diagnosis rates were 96.84% for lesion other than microcalcification (LOTM) and 93.21% for microcalcifications. At surgery 97.9% impalpable lesions were removed at the first procedure. Of 11548 Microcalcification (LOTM) biopsied, 46.9% were malignant. The final diagnosis was reached by conventional core biopsy (CCB) in 72.46%, FNAB in 21.33%, VACB in 1.69% and open biopsy in 4.52% of lesions. FNA is being limited to LOTM with benign imaging After FNAB, core biopsy was required for 38% of LOTM. In LOTM the mean false positive rate (FPR) was 0.36% for FNAB, 0.06% for NCB and 0% for VACB. Diagnostic accuracy was 72.75% for FNAB and 92.1% for core biopsies combined. Of 6441 microcalcifications biopsied 2305 (35.8%) were malignant. Microcalcifications are being assessed primarily by NCB but 6.57% underwent FNAB, 45.6% of which required NCB. False positive diagnoses were rare. FNR was 5% for NCB and 1.53% for VACB. Diagnostic accuracy was 73.52% for FNAB, 86.29% for NCB and 88.63% for VACB. Only 8 of 12 services had access to VACB facilities. Conclusions: BSA services are selecting lesions effectively for biopsy and are achieving high preoperative diagnosis rates. Gaps in the present accreditation standards require further consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10665-10673
Number of pages9
JournalAsian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Breast cancer
  • Mammography
  • Needle biopsy
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Cancer Research

Cite this