Percutaneous adrenal biopsy: Review of a 10-year experience

Timothy J. Welch, Patrick F. Sheedy, David H. Stephens, C. Michael Johnson, Stephen J. Swensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate the indications for and complications, accuracy, and techniques of percutaneous adrenal biopsy performed from 1982 through 1991 at the authors' institution. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two hundred seventy-seven percutaneous adrenal biopsies were performed in 270 patients (175 male and 102 female patients, aged 31-84 years). Imaging studies and histories were reviewed, and each patient's case was followed up for at least 1 year after the biopsy. A patient was excluded from the study only if follow-up data could not be obtained. RESULTS: The accuracy of percutaneous adrenal biopsy was 90% (249 of 277 biopsies). In the first 5 years of the study, the accuracy was 85% (87 of 102 biopsies); in the latter 5 years it was 93% (163 of 175 biopsies). The sensitivity was 81%, and the specificity was 99%. The positive predictive value was 99%, and the negative predictive value was 80%. The complication rate was 2.8%. CONCLUSION: Percutaneous biopsy is a safe, accurate procedure for the diagnosis of pathologic conditions of the adrenal glands. The most common indication for a biopsy is the presence of an adrenal mass in a patient with lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-344
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1994


  • Adrenal gland, biopsy
  • Adrenal gland, neoplasms
  • Biopsies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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