Computer-Assisted Image-Guided Brain Needle Biopsy Overview

What is a stereotactic brain needle biopsy?

When a tumor of the brain is suspected anywhere in the body, a needle biopsy can diagnose the tumor type and guide further care. However, to avoid serious complications,  the brain must be biopsied differently from other organs: in a precise, three-dimensional space with the guidance of a computer system with a stereotactic brain needle biopsy.

Previously, this required the patient's head to be held in a rigid frame, called a stereotactic frame. The frame, attached to the skull with screws, was very uncomfortable, but necessary to direct a probe into the brain through a small hole in the skull.

Since 1993, Mount Sinai has been performing brain needle biopsies without a rigid frame. Several self-adhesive skin markers are applied to the patient's head to direct the probe into the brain. This procedure, called "frameless," or Computer-Assisted Image-Guided Brain Needle Biopsy, is very comfortable for the patient and provides the same accuracy of the rigid frame.



What are the advantages of frameless stereotactic biopsy?

  • Less invasive 
  • Better tolerated by the patient 
  • Accurate diagnosis

Who is a candidate for frameless stereotactic biopsy?

Anybody with a brain lesion who needs accurate diagnosis with minimal discomfort.


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