Target location after deep cerebral biopsies using low-volume air injection in 75 patients. Results and technical note

Maria A. Poca, Francisco Ramon Martínez-Ricarte, Dario F. Gándara, Pilar Coscojuela, Elena Martínez-Sáez, Juan Sahuquillo

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4 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017, Springer-Verlag Wien. Background: Stereotactic biopsy is a minimally invasive technique that allows brain tissue samples to be obtained with low risk. Classically, different techniques have been used to identify the biopsy site after surgery. Objective: To describe a technique to identify the precise location of the target in the postoperative CT scan using the injection of a low volume of air into the biopsy cannula. Methods: Seventy-five biopsies were performed in 65 adults and 10 children (40 males and 35 females, median age 51 years). Frame-based biopsy was performed in 46 patients, while frameless biopsy was performed in the remaining 29 patients. In both systems, after brain specimens had been collected and with the biopsy needle tip in the center of the target, a small volume of air (median 0.7 cm3) was injected into the site. Results: A follow-up CT scan was performed in all patients. Intracranial air in the selected target was present in 69 patients (92%). No air was observed in two patients (air volume administered in these 2 cases was below 0.7 cm3), while in the remaining four patients blood content was observed in the target. The diagnostic yield in this series was 97.3%. No complications were found to be associated with intracranial air injection in any of the 75 patients who underwent this procedure. Conclusions: The air-injection maneuver proposed for use in stereotactic biopsies of intracranial mass lesions is a safe and reliable technique that allows the exact biopsy site to be located without any related complications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1939-1946
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Brain biopsy
  • CT-based targeting accuracy
  • Frame-based stereotactic biopsy
  • Frameless stereotactic brain biopsy
  • Pneumoencephalus
  • Stereotaxis


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