Last updated date: 14-May-2023
Originally Written in English
A biopsy is the removal of tissue from any region of the body in order to diagnose illness. Some may use a needle to retrieve a tiny tissue sample, while others may surgically remove a worrisome tumor or mass.
Biopsy definition (PS)
A biopsy is a medical procedure that is often performed by a surgeon, interventional radiologist, or interventional cardiologist. The extraction of sample cells or tissues for testing to detect the existence or degree of a disease is part of the procedure. A pathologist would often examine the tissue under a microscope; it may also be chemically evaluated. An excisional biopsy is performed when a complete lump or suspicious region is excised.
A core biopsy or incisional biopsy samples a piece of the abnormal tissue without attempting to remove the complete lesion or tumor. A needle aspiration biopsy is performed when a sample of tissue or fluid is extracted with a needle in such a way that cells are removed without retaining the histological architecture of the tissue cells. Biopsies are most typically used to investigate potential malignant or inflammatory disorders.
A lung biopsy was performed in a case of probable lung cancer under the supervision of computed tomography.
When cancer is suspected, a number of biopsy procedures are available. An excisional biopsy is a procedure that attempts to remove an entire lesion. In addition to the diagnosis, the quantity of uninvolved tissue around the lesion and the surgical margin of the specimen are checked when the specimen is reviewed to see if the illness has progressed beyond the region biopsied. "Clear margins" or "negative margins" indicate that no disease was discovered at the biopsy specimen's boundaries. "Positive margins" indicate that illness was discovered, and a larger excision may be required depending on the diagnosis.
When complete removal is not indicated for a number of reasons, an incisional biopsy may be performed to get a wedge of tissue. A sample can be gathered in some situations by devices that "bite" a sample. Tissue can be collected in the lumen by needles of various diameters (core biopsy). Fine needle aspiration biopsy uses needles with smaller diameters to extract cells and cell clusters.
Pathologic analysis of a biopsy can assist establish whether a lesion is benign or malignant, as well as distinguish between various forms of cancer. In contrast to a biopsy, which just samples a lesion, a pathologist may get a bigger excisional specimen termed a resection, which is often obtained from a surgeon attempting to remove a known lesion from a patient. A pathologist, for example, would evaluate a mastectomy material even if a prior nonexcisional breast biopsy had previously confirmed the diagnosis of breast cancer. The whole mastectomy specimen would be examined to determine the specific kind of the malignancy (tumor subclassification and histologic "grading") and identify the degree of its dissemination.
Any worrisome lesions can be evaluated at easily detectable and accessible places. This was originally skin or superficial masses. X-rays, followed by CT, MRI, and ultrasound, as well as endoscopy, expanded the spectrum.
For suspected vasculitis, a biopsy of the temporal arteries is commonly done. In inflammatory bowel illness (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), biopsies are performed on a regular basis to monitor disease activity and alterations that precede malignancy. When the etiology of a disease is unknown, or the extent or exact nature of the disease is unknown, biopsy specimens are frequently collected from a lesion. Vasculitis, for example, is often identified by biopsy.
- Kidney disease: The use of biopsies and fluorescence microscopy in the diagnosis of renal function changes is critical. The use of immunofluorescence in the diagnosis of Crescentic glomerulonephritis is critical.
- Infectious disease: Lymph node enlargement may be due to a variety of infectious or autoimmune diseases.
- Metabolic disease: Some illnesses affect the whole body, yet specific locations are biopsied selectively because they are conveniently accessible. Amyloidosis is a disorder in which degraded proteins build up in the body's tissues. The gingival is used to make the diagnosis.
- Transplantation: Biopsies are conducted on transplanted organs to ensure that they are not being rejected or that the condition that caused the transplant has not recurred.
- Fertility: A testicular biopsy is performed to evaluate men's fertility and determine the cause of probable infertility, such as when sperm quality is low yet hormone levels remain within normal ranges.
Type of Biopsy
Types of biopsy includes:
- Scraping cells - the removal of cells from the surface layer of tissue, such as inside the cervix (womb's neck), as part of a cervical screening test.
- A punch biopsy is used to diagnose skin diseases by punching a tiny hole in the skin using a particular device to extract a sample.
- A needle biopsy is a procedure in which a special hollow needle is guided by ultrasound or CT scanning to obtain tissue from an organ or tissue beneath the skin.
- Endoscopic biopsy – During an endoscopy, an endoscope (a tube with a camera at the end) is used to remove tissue, such as from the stomach (a diagnostic procedure to look inside the stomach upper gastrointestinal tract)
- An excisional biopsy is one in which a bigger portion of tissue is removed by surgery.
- Fine needle aspiration is the use of a needle and syringe to extract a sample of cells, for example, from a thyroid or breast lump.
- Bone marrow biopsy – a small sample of bone marrow (usually from the hip) is removed via a slender needle. This type of biopsy helps to diagnose diseases such as leukaemia.
- A colposcope is a tiny microscope that is used to inspect a woman's cervix while a tissue sample is obtained. This biopsy is often conducted to determine the cause of an abnormal Pap test result.
How is the procedure performed?
Imaging-guided, minimally invasive treatments, such as needle biopsies, are often performed by a radiologist, interventional radiologist, or neuroradiologist.
Outpatient needle biopsies are often performed by doctors. An intravenous (IV) line may be inserted into a vein in your hand or arm by a nurse or technician. This enables them to provide sedative or relaxing drugs intravenously throughout the treatment. Prior to the biopsy, you may be given a light sedative.
The doctor will administer a local anesthetic to numb the needle's route. Some biopsies, such as those of the breast or thyroid, can be conducted without anesthesia. The sedation will be discussed with you by the nurse or technologist during the operation.
When a biopsy is performed on a kid, general anesthesia is more likely to be necessary to make them comfortable during the process. If the doctor is utilizing fluoroscopy to guide the operation, you will either lie down or stand.
You will lie down during the operation if the doctor is utilizing CT or MRI guidance. A restricted CT or MRI scan will be used to validate the location of the nodule and the safest approach for the targeted region. They will mark the entrance point on the skin once they have determined the position of the nodule. The doctor will clean and disinfect the skin surrounding the insertion site before covering it with a clean, sterile drape. At the spot where the biopsy needle will be put, the doctor will make a very little nick in the skin.
The doctor will put the needle through the skin, advance it to the site of the nodule, and extract tissue samples using imaging guidance. For a full analysis, they may need to collect numerous specimens.
The needle will be removed by the doctor after the sampling. After the biopsy, the doctor will apply pressure to halt any bleeding and cover the skin opening with a bandage. Sutures are not required. You might be detained for many hours in an observation area. To check for issues, the doctor may use X-rays or other imaging procedures.
Children's biopsies are normally conducted in the same manner as adults. You may lie face down or sit up on a moving exam table for stereotactic breast biopsies, and the afflicted breast or breasts will be positioned into apertures in the table.
A fine gauge needle and a syringe are used in a fine needle aspiration to remove fluid or clusters of cells. The automatic mechanism is triggered in a core needle biopsy, propelling the needle forward and filling the needle trough, or shallow receptacle, with 'cores' of breast tissue. The outer sheath travels forward quickly to cut the tissue and retain it in the trough. This procedure can be performed as many times as necessary.
Tissue is extracted with a vacuum-assisted instrument in some breast biopsies (VAD). Vacuum pressure is utilized to draw tissue from the breast into the sample chamber through the needle. It rotates locations and gathers more samples without removing and reinserting the needle. Several tissue samples are often obtained from the area surrounding the lesion. The needle will be withdrawn after this sampling.
A wire may be put into the suspicious region as a guide for the surgeon if a surgical biopsy is being conducted. A tiny marker can be placed at the spot to help locate it in the future if necessary.
After the biopsy, pressure will be applied to the wound to stop any bleeding, and the skin will be covered with a dressing or bandage. Depending on the kind of biopsy, you may be able to go home soon following the surgery. This operation is normally finished in an hour. Depending on the type of biopsy conducted, you may be needed to stay in an observation center for several hours after the procedure.
Image-guided biopsies can be done as an in-patient or out-patient operation. The puncture site and your vital signs will be monitored for 4-6 hours after the surgery. During this period, you will feel some slight soreness around the puncture site. If you have a lung biopsy, you will be given a chest X-ray 6-8 hours later to confirm that no air has become trapped between your chest wall and your lungs. In most situations, you will be permitted to drink water for a few hours following the biopsy operation.
Sites of Biopsies
When your doctor discovers a nodule, he or she may conduct imaging tests to establish if it is benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) (cancerous). If imaging tests are unable to properly characterize the abnormality, a biopsy may be required.
Typically, a biopsy is conducted to look for illness in tissue. Biopsies are commonly used to diagnose cancer, but they can also aid in the identification of other illnesses such as infections, inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. They may also be used to match organ tissue prior to transplantation and to screen for indicators of organ rejection after transplantation.
Biopsies are conducted in a variety of locations and for a variety of reasons. The following is a list of common biopsy types and their indications:
- A biopsy of the abdomen is done to determine if a tumour in the abdomen is malignant or benign. The tumors might be seen deep within the belly, in the fat. A sample of the lump is extracted percutaneously under imaging guidance (ultrasound or CT), surgically using a laparoscope, or openly.
- A bone biopsy is performed to detect cancer or infection in the bones. This sort of biopsy can be done either percutaneously (through the skin) with a needle or surgically.
- A bone marrow biopsy is performed to diagnose blood cancers such as leukemia. A needle is used to extract a tiny sample of bone and bone marrow. Only the bone marrow is sometimes taken for evaluation.
- Breast biopsies are performed to assess if a lump in the breast is malignant or benign. It can be done in a variety of ways:
- Stereotactic (mammographically-guided)
- Endometrial biopsy may be done to determine the origin of abnormal uterine bleeding, evaluate the uterine lining, and identify malignancy. This sort of biopsy can be conducted by capturing a sample with a tiny needle-like instrument or by scraping portions of the lining for inspection with a tool.
- A liver biopsy is performed to identify liver illnesses such as hepatitis C, cirrhosis, infections, and cancer. It can also be used to look for evidence of transplant rejection in a transplanted liver. This is a common symptom among youngsters. Percutaneous liver biopsies are commonly conducted by inserting a needle through the skin. The liver can also be biopsied surgically or with a catheter put via the jugular vein (a big neck vein) to collect a tissue sample.
- When there are larger or abnormal lymph nodes, a lymph node biopsy is done. They can be done surgically or with a needle.
- Muscle biopsy is used to identify muscular infections, muscle abnormalities, and disorders of the connective tissue and blood vessels. This sort of biopsy can be done surgically or with a needle.
- Nerve biopsy is used to investigate minor nerve injury, nerve degeneration and destruction, and inflammatory nerve diseases. Typically, nerve biopsies are conducted surgically.
- A skin biopsy is an examination of a growth or patch of skin, such as a mole, that has altered in appearance. Skin biopsies can be conducted by shaving a tiny sample of the skin, extracting a sample with a scalpel, or punching a part of the skin with an instrument.
- Thyroid biopsy is done to determine the source of a thyroid nodule. This sort of biopsy is usually done with a needle with ultrasound guidance.
Analysis and results
The length of time it takes to receive the results is determined by the kind of biopsy. A simple case may take 2 to 3 days to complete, while a more difficult case may take 7 to 10 days. A worrisome mass may be removed through an excisional biopsy.
A pathologist examines the tissue samples after they are delivered to the lab. They may be chemically processed and cut into extremely thin slices. They are often examined under a microscope. A blood expert, known as a hematologist, may also examine the sample.
The tiny slice is frequently glued to a glass slide, and the remaining tissue is retained for future study. Dye is sometimes added to the slide. These color the tissue, making it easier for the pathologist to see the cells.
In cancer instances, the pathologist must decide if the material is malignant, or cancerous, or benign. If the cancer is malignant, they will determine how aggressive or progressed it is. If it is cancer, specific stains can be performed to assist guide therapy and prognosis.
Finally, the pathologist writes up a report that contains any unusual or significant results. This report is delivered to the doctor who requested the biopsy. The time required to obtain the findings is determined by the type of tests required.
In most cases, the patient will need to schedule another appointment with the doctor to obtain the findings. If many tests are performed, the turnaround time for the findings may be extended.
THE ROLE OF THE HISTOPATHOLOGIST
Histopathologists are the doctors who diagnose cancer and other dangerous disorders, but they also have good news to share, such as discovering that a tumor or mole is absolutely benign. Some histopathologists also do autopsy (post-mortems) to determine the cause of death. Histopathologists are also at the forefront of several prevalent illnesses, such as cancer research.
Biopsies (tissue or cells) collected from patients in the clinic or during surgery are examined by histopathologists.
The histopathologist analyzes tissue samples with the naked eye to check for apparent abnormalities and to select portions for further examination under the microscope. These little bits are chemically modified so that very thin slices may be sliced. The slices are dyed to reveal different portions of the cells, and the tissue is inspected under a microscope to check whether it is abnormal. If this is the case, the goal is to determine the nature of the problem. This frequently indicates that a definitive diagnosis has been reached.
A biopsy is often considered a very low risk technique. As with any skin perforation, there is a tiny risk of infection, although the probability of an infection requiring antibiotic treatment is likely to be less than one in 1,000.
Accidental injury can occasionally cause harm to neighboring organs, such as bowel damage during an abdominal biopsy. Complications include the chance of bleeding, missing the location of the suspicious tissue, which can result in a false negative result, and not collecting enough material, which necessitates repeating the biopsy.
Taking care of yourself at home
Be guided by your doctor or surgeon, but general suggestions include:
- Rest as much as possible during the following day or two.
- If at all feasible, limit the use of the bodily part. For instance, if you had a biopsy on your arm or leg, try to rest and elevate the limb for the next day or so.
- Avoid strenuous exertion and heavy lifting.
- It is possible that you may need to keep your wound (and its dressing) dry for a week to ten days. Hold the afflicted region out of the shower or bath if possible, or wrap the dressing with plastic wrap. Alternatively, during the first few days, a sponge bath may be more convenient.
- Typically, dressings can be removed one week to ten days following the treatment.
A biopsy is a medical operation that involves the removal of a tiny sample of tissue to be inspected under a microscope. Tissue samples can be collected from practically any part of the body, including the skin, stomach, kidneys, liver, and lungs. The term biopsy is frequently used to refer to both the procedure of taking the sample and the sample of tissue itself.