Why is Biopsy Performed?
Biopsy is often performed to diagnose diseases and lesions of various organs including:
- Bone biopsy is performed for people with bone pain and other indicators of bone cancer.
- Bone marrow biopsy is performed in cases of abnormal blood counts, such as unexplained anemia, high white cell count, and low platelet count. In adults, the sample is usually taken from the pelvic bone.
- Breast biopsy is performed to confirm if a lesion is benign or malignant
- Cervical biopsy is often performed endoscopically to diagnose cervical cancer or other cervical diseases. Methods of cervical biopsy include the cervical punch and cone biopsy.
- Joint biopsy is usually guided by arthroscopy. A tissue specimen is taken from the synovial membrane that lines the joint. Joint biopsy can diagnose gout, pseudogout, bacterial infections, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or Reiter's disease.
- Kidney biopsy can be performed to diagnose a long list of disorders. When renal function is diminished by an unknown cause or when imaging exams such as CT , Ultrasound, Nuclear, or MRI show abnormalities but cannot differentiate between some of the possible causes.
- Liver biopsy may help identify liver disorders and diagnose abnormalities as benign or malignant.
- Lymph node biopsy can be done to look for diseases such as chronic lymphatic leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, infectious mononucleosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Lymph node biopsy can also diagnose if cancer has spread from the primary location into the lymphatic system. This can help the physician determine the stage of cancer.
- Lung biopsy is performed to confirm diagnosis of widespread lung disease and to diagnose abnormalities. Lung biopsy is done to confirm cancer or other lung disease. Lung biopsy can also examine tissue from the trachea (wind pipe) and bronchi (major air passages of the lungs).
- Pleural biopsy is sampling of the pleura, the sac that covers the lungs. Pleural biopsy is done to differentiate between malignant and non-malignant disease and to diagnose viral, fungal, or parasitic disease and collagen vascular disease of the pleura.
- Prostate biopsy is done to confirm or rule our prostate cancer or to determine the cause of prostate enlargement or elevated serum prostate markers (PSA: prostate specific antigen).
- Small Intestine biopsy is often performed to determine what may be causing diarrhea or poor absorption in the intestine.
- Skin biopsy is often done to test for malignant cancer and to diagnose chronic bacterial or fungal skin infections.
- Synovial biopsy is a type of endoscopic biopsy used to sample synovial tissue from the surface of a joint.
- Thyroid and parathyroid biopsy is done to diagnose people with thyroid enlargement or nodules, breathing and swallowing difficulties, vocal chord paralysis and other problems such as unexplainable weight loss. Thyroid biopsy may be used to diagnose Hashimoto's disease, hyperthyroidism, and nontoxic nodular goiter.
Biopsy may also be performed to sample the following organs to test for cancer and other disease: adrenal gland, biliary tract, bladder, carpal tunnel, colon, endometrium, gingiva (gums), heart, muscle, nerve, salivary gland, small bowel, mouth, nasal mucosa, rectum, testicle, throat, and tongue.
Updated: December 30, 2008