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The British journal of radiology


OBJECTIVE: Radiopaque markers are commonly deployed following breast biopsies to indicate the location of the targeted lesion. A frequently encountered complication is the displacement of these markers. This study compared the degree of displacement among four newer generation markers after stereotactic core needle biopsy.

METHODS: 80 consecutive biopsies were performed at three breast centre sites. The markers included: HydroMARK(®) (Mammotome, Cincinnati, OH), MammoMARK™ (Mammotome, Cincinnati, OH), MammoStar™ (Mammotome, Cincinnati, OH) and SecurMark(®) (Hologic, Bedford, MA). Each marker was composed of a radiopaque core with a unique polymeric encasing component. Post-procedure mammograms were obtained and the degree of marker displacement was measured.

RESULTS: MammoMARK™ exhibited the greatest mean net displacement, followed by HydroMARK(®), SecurMark(®) and MammoStar™ (13.9, 7.7, 5.8 and 4.7 mm, respectively), although these differences did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.398). 73% of the markers did not displace at all. However, in the 19 of 22 markers in which displacement occurred, the distance from the biopsy cavity was >10 mm. No statistically significant contributing factors to predict displacement were found.

CONCLUSION: Newer generation biopsy markers perform comparably with one another. However, clinically significant and unpredictable marker displacement persists. Compared with multiple similar studies of older generation bare metallic markers, the overall displacement rate of newer generation markers seems to be lower, possibly owing to the use of polymeric embedding agents that self-expand within the biopsy cavity.

ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE: This article compares the post-procedure displacement of breast biopsy markers, which have not been evaluated or discussed in detail since markers with polymeric embedding agents gained widespread use.

Medical Subject Headings

Biomarkers; Biopsy; Breast; Breast Diseases; Calcinosis; Female; Humans; Mammography; Middle Aged; Prospective Studies

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