Purpose: To evaluate the safety and efficiency of the Ultrasound (US)-guided large needle core biopsy of axilla lymph nodes. Materials and Methods: From March 2004 to September 2005, 31 patients underwent the US-guided core biopsy for axilla lymph nodes. Twenty five lesions out of 31 were detected during breast US, and 6 of 31 cases were palpable. Lymph nodes were classified based on their shape and cortical morphology. The core biopsy of axilla lymph nodes was performed on suspicious lymph nodes found during breast ultrasonography to find out whether the patients had a history of breast cancer or not. Among the 31 patients, 16 patients were associated with breast cancer. The lesion sizes varied from 0.6 cm to 3.3 cm (mean= 1.59 ±0.76 cm). US-guided core biopsies were performed with 14 G needles with an automated biopsy gun. Total 3 or 5 specimens were obtained. Results: Among the 31 cases of axilla lymph nodes core biopsies, 11 cases showed malignant pathology. Seven out of 11 cases were metastatic lymph nodes from breast cancer, 2 cases were from primary unknown and 2 cases from lymphomas. On the other hand, 20 histopathologic results of axilla lesions were benign: subacute necrotizing lymphadenitis (n = 2), dermatopathic lymphadenitis (n = 1), reactive hyperplasia (n = 10) and free of carcinoma (n = 7). Conclusion: The US-guided large needle core biopsy of axilla lesions is safe and effective for the pathological evaluation. The core biopsy is believed to be easy to perform if suspicious lymph nodes or mass lesions are found in the axilla.
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