Background: A definitive diagnosis of brain lesions not amenable to surgery is mainly made by stereotactic needle biopsy. The diagnostic yield and safety of the frameless versus frame-based image-guided stereotactic techniques is unclear. Our objective was to evaluate the safety and accuracy of frameless versus frame-based stereotactic brain biopsy techniques. Methods: A total of 278 patients (153 men; mean age: 65.5 years) with intra-axial brain lesions underwent frame-based (n = 148) or frameless image-guided stereotactic brain biopsy (n = 130) using a minimally invasive twist drill technique during 2010–2016 at Sheba Medical Center. Demographic, imaging, and clinical data were retrospectively analyzed. Results: The diagnostic yield (>90%) did not differ significantly between groups. Overall morbidity (6.8% vs. 8.5%), incidence of permanent neurologic deficits (2.1% vs. 1.6%), mortality rate (0.7% vs. 0.8%), and postoperative computed tomography–detected asymptomatic (14.2% vs. 16.1%) and symptomatic (2.0% vs. 1.6%) bleeding also did not differ significantly between the frame-based and frameless cohorts, respectively. The diagnostic yield and complication rates related to the biopsy technique were not significantly associated with sex, age, entry angle to the skull and skull thickness, lesion location or depth, or radiologic characteristics. Diagnostic yield was significantly associated with the mean lesion volume. Smaller lesions were less diagnostic than larger lesions in both techniques (P = 0.043 frame-based and P = 0.048 frameless). Conclusions: The frameless biopsy technique is as efficient as the frame-based brain biopsy technique with a low complication rate. Lesion volume was the only predictive factor of diagnostic yield. The minimally invasive twist drill technique is safe and efficient.
- Brain biopsy
- Brain hemorrhage
- Frameless image-guided stereotactic