Incidence of bleeding after 15,181 percutaneous biopsies and the role of aspirin

Thomas D. Atwell, Ryan L. Smith, Gina K. Hesley, Matthew R. Callstrom, Cathy D. Schleck, W. Scott Harmsen, J. William Charboneau, Timothy J. Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The objective of our study was to report the incidence of bleeding after imaging-guided percutaneous core biopsy at a single center using a standardized technique. MATERIALS AND METHODS. We performed a retrospective review of percutaneous core biopsies performed at our institution from January 2002 through February 2008. Data were collected at the time of biopsy, and clinical information was obtained 24 hours and 3 months after the biopsy. The specific information that was collected included the results of coagulation studies, aspirin use, the organ biopsied, the size of the biopsy needle, and the number of needle passes. Bleeding complications were defined using the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE, version 3.0) established by the National Cancer Institute. RESULTS. Among the 15,181 percutaneous core biopsies performed during the study period, 70 hemorrhages (0.5%) that were CTCAE grade 3 or greater were identified within 3 months of biopsy. The incidence of bleeding in patients taking aspirin within 10 days before biopsy was 0.6% (18/3,195), which was not statistically different compared with the incidence of bleeding in those not taking aspirin (52/11,986, 0.4%; p = 0.34). The incidence of bleeding after liver biopsy was 0.5%; kidney biopsy, 0.7%; lung biopsy, 0.2%; pancreas biopsy, 1.0%; and other biopsy, 0.2%. There were significant associations between major bleeding and serum platelet count and international normalized ratio (p <0.001), although the association between major bleeding and the size of the biopsy needle was not significant (p = 0.97). CONCLUSION. The overall incidence of major bleeding after imaging-guided percutaneous core needle biopsy is low. Recent aspirin therapy does not appear to significantly increase the risk of such bleeding complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)784-789
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Aspirin
  • Biopsy
  • Complications
  • Hemorrhage
  • Percutaneous biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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