Percutaneous magnetic resonance image-guided biopsy and aspiration in the head and neck

Elmar M. Merkle, Jonathan S. Lewin, Andrik J. Aschoff, David W. Stepnick, Jeffrey L. Duerk, Charles F. Lanzieri, Melvin Strauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective/Hypothesis To test the hypotheses that 1) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided biopsy and aspiration with an open 0.2-T system (Magnetom Open, Siemens, Erlangen, Germany) in the head and neck is feasible and successful and 2) procedure times can be sufficiently short to be well tolerated by the patient. Methods Sixty-one MRI-guided procedures were performed in 47 patients (ages, 6 mo-88 y) in the head and neck, including the mucosal sites and masticator and parapharyngeal spaces (n = 23), parotid space (n = 6), submandibular space (n = 2), cervical vertebral column/paraspinal tissues (n = 8), skull base (n = 3), larynx or hypopharynx (n = 3), and infrahyoid nodal chains and surrounding tissues (n = 16). A clinical C-arm imaging system was used, supplemented by an in-room radiofrequency-shielded liquid crystal monitor, rapid gradient echo sequences for needle guidance, and MRI-compatible anesthesia, monitoring, and surgical lighting equipment. Tissue sampling included fine-needle aspiration (n = 58) and cutting-needle core biopsy (n = 27), with 24 patients undergoing both procedures. Procedures were evaluated for success of needle placement, procedure time, and complications. Results Successful needle placement was accomplished in all cases without complication, with tissue sufficient for pathological diagnosis obtained for all but five patients with an average of 2.1 passes per patient. For fine-needle aspiration, average instrument time was 7.8 minutes per pass, and average cutting-needle core biopsy time was 9.2 minutes. Conclusions Interactive MRI guidance for needle biopsy and aspiration of deep head and neck lesions is feasible, successful, and safe. Procedure times are sufficiently short to be well tolerated by the patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-385
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2000


  • Magnetic resonance image guidance
  • aspiration
  • biopsy
  • head and neck
  • intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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