Percutaneous biopsy for the diagnosis, risk stratification, and molecular profiling of neuroblastoma: A single-center retrospective study

Sean Schoeman, Rochelle Bagatell, Anne Marie Cahill, John Maris, Peter Mattei, Yael Mosse, Jennifer Pogoriler, Abhay Srinivasan, Michael Acord

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To determine whether percutaneous core needle biopsy (PCNB) is adequate for the diagnosis and full molecular characterization of newly diagnosed neuroblastoma. Materials and methods: Patients with newly diagnosed neuroblastoma who underwent PCNB in interventional radiology at a single center over a 5-year period were included. Pre-procedure imaging and procedure details were reviewed. Rates of diagnostic success and sufficiency for International Neuroblastoma Pathology Classification (INPC), risk stratification, and evaluation of genomic markers utilized in the Children's Oncology Group risk stratification, and status of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene were assessed. Results: Thirty-five patients (13 females, median age 2.4 years [interquartile range, IQR: 0.9–4.4] and median weight 12.4 kg [IQR: 9.6–18]) were included. Most had International Neuroblastoma Risk Group Stage M disease (n = 22, 63%). Median longest axis of tumor target was 8.8 cm [IQR: 6.1–12]. A 16-gauge biopsy instrument was most often used (n = 20, 57%), with a median of 20 cores [IQR: 13–23] obtained. Twenty-five specimens were assessed for adequacy, and 14 procedures utilized contrast-enhanced ultrasound guidance. There were two post-procedure bleeds (5.7%). Thirty-four of 35 procedures (97%) were sufficient for histopathologic diagnosis and risk stratification, 94% (n = 32) were sufficient for INPC, and 85% (n = 29) were sufficient for complete molecular characterization, including ALK testing. Biologic information was otherwise obtained from bone marrow (4/34, 12%) or surgery (1/34, 2.9%). The number of cores did not differ between patients with sufficient versus insufficient biopsies. Conclusion: In this study, obtaining multiple cores with PCNB resulted in a high rate of diagnosis and successful molecular profiling for neuroblastoma.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere30887
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number4
StateAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • image-guided
  • interventional radiology
  • neuroblastoma
  • percutaneous biopsy


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