Complications Following Stereotactic Needle Biopsy of Intracranial Tumors.

Complications Following Stereotactic Needle Biopsy of Intracranial Tumors.

World Neurosurg. 2015 Oct;84(4):1084-9. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2015.05.025. Epub 2015 May 22.

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Data from single-institution studies suggest that perioperative complication rates after stereotactic needle brain biopsies range from 6% to 12%, with permanent morbidity and mortality ranging from 3.1% to 6.4% and 0% to 1.7%, respectively. However, no population-level data are available. We conducted a population-based analysis to study complications after needle brain biopsy.


We analyzed patients recorded in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample who underwent stereotactic needle brain biopsy for neoplastic lesions between 2006 and 2012. A multivariate logistic model was used to identify factors associated with complications.


We identified 7514 patients who underwent biopsy for various intracranial pathologies, including primary malignant neoplasm (52.3%), unspecified neoplasm (17.9%), metastasis (9.7%), meningioma (1.5%), radiation necrosis (0.8%), lymphoma (0.5%), and pineal region neoplasm (0.3%). Intracranial hemorrhage was the most frequent complication (5.8%). Other complications, including operative infection (0.1%) and wound breakdown (0.2%), were rare. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that hemorrhage is associated with older age (reference <40 years; 40-59 years, odds ratio [OR] 2.26, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.51-3.38; ≥60 years, OR 1.90, 95% CI 1.22-2.97), hydrocephalus (OR 3.02, 95% CI 2.20-4.14), and cerebral edema (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.72-2.72). Hemorrhage is less likely when taking a biopsy from a primary malignant neoplasm (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.59-0.90). Overall inpatient mortality after biopsy was 2.8%. Patients with intracranial hemorrhage were significantly more likely than patients without hemorrhage to die in the hospital (12.8% vs. 2.2%, P < 0.001) or be discharged to a rehabilitation/nursing facility (45.2% vs. 23.1%, P < 0.001).


Intracranial hemorrhage is the most frequent complication associated with needle brain biopsy and is associated with inpatient mortality and hospital disposition. Other complications are rare.


Brain biopsy; Complications; Intracranial hemorrhage; Intracranial tumors; Stereotactic needle biopsy

Categories: Brain Tumor

1 reply

  1. Nice one,Useful content.Thanks for sharing.Good job.

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