Procedure-related pain during image-guided percutaneous biopsies: A retrospective study of prevalence and predictive factors

Veena R. Iyer, Shannon P. Sheedy, Tina M. Gunderson, Marie L. Christopherson, A. Nicholas Kurup, John J. Schmitz, Thomas D. Atwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and severity of pain reported during image-guided percutaneous biopsies and to identify factors associated with increased reported pain. MATERIALS AND METHODS. In this retrospective study, a database of adult patients who underwent CT- or ultrasound-guided percutaneous core needle biopsy between July 22, 2013, and February 1, 2018, was reviewed. Data collected included patient age and sex, biopsy site, biopsy type (lesion or parenchymal), needle gauge, number of passes, use of sedation, and whether it was the patient’s first recorded biopsy. The maximum procedure-related pain reported on a 0–10 numeric rating scale was recorded. Multivariable logistic regression with generalized estimating equations was used to assess the association between covariates and patient-reported pain. RESULTS. A total of 13,344 biopsy procedures were performed in 10,474 patients. Patients reported no pain (0 of 10 scale) during 9765 (73.2%) procedures. Female sex, younger age at biopsy, undergoing IV sedation, and larger needle diameter were all associated with increases in patient-reported pain. Biopsies of renal allografts were the least likely to be painful, followed by hepatic allografts. CONCLUSION. Patients typically report mild or no pain from image-guided biopsy performed by radiologists. Younger patients and women report greater pain. This information can assist preprocedural counseling and reassurance of patients and may help them predict procedure-related patient needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-761
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019


  • Image-guided biopsy
  • Pain
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Patient-radiologist relationship
  • Patient-reported outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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