Percutaneous biopsy of the renal mass: FNA or core needle biopsy?

Chi Shun Yang, Euna Choi, Muhammad Idrees, Shaoxiong Chen, Howard Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: In recent years, there have been increasing indications for percutaneous renal biopsy. Fine-needle aspiration (FNA), with or without core needle biopsy (CB), has been used increasingly in the management of renal tumors at the study institution. METHODS: A computerized search of laboratory records was conducted to retrieve FNA cases of renal masses as well as the correlating CB and/or nephrectomy specimens. The cases spanned a period of 10 years (2006-2015). The diagnoses were classified into 5 categories: malignant, suspicious for malignancy, neoplastic, atypical, and negative/nondiagnostic. Based on the results of the nephrectomy specimens, the diagnostic rate, sensitivity, and diagnostic accuracy were calculated among 3 groups of specimens: FNA only, CB only, and combined FNA and CB. RESULTS: A total of 247 cases of FNA with 123 correlating CB and 101 follow-up nephrectomy specimens were identified. The diagnostic rate, sensitivity, and diagnostic accuracy were 72%, 78%, and 96%, respectively, for FNA; 87%, 92%, and 94%, respectively, for CB; and 92%, 92%, and 94%, respectively, for the combined FNA and CB group. Renal cell carcinoma and its variants were the most common histologic diagnoses (112 of 174 cases; 64%). Significant diagnostic discrepancy was noted in one case: a malignant melanoma that was misdiagnosed as renal cell carcinoma in both the preoperative FNA specimen and in the CB specimen. CONCLUSIONS: In the current study, both FNA and CB demonstrated excellent diagnostic accuracy (96% and 94%, respectively). The combination of FNA and CB was found to significantly improve the diagnostic rate when compared with either FNA alone (92% vs 72%; P<.05) or CB alone (92% vs 87%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCancer cytopathology
StateAccepted/In press - 2017


  • Core needle biopsy (CB)
  • Cytology
  • Fine-needle aspiration (FNA)
  • Renal cell carcinoma (RCC)
  • Renal tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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