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For Release: October 1, 2008


Core Needle Breast Biopsy Safe for Patients Taking Blood Thinners

It is safe to take anticoagulants (blood thinners) before core needle breast biopsies, according to a study performed at the Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic in Rochester, NY. Core needle biopsies are offered as an alternative to surgical biopsy when a tissue sample of an irregular area in the breast is found by mammogram or sonogram. “They are safer than surgical procedures, require fewer anesthetics, and are accurate,” according to Patricia Somerville, MD, lead author of the study.

The study included 200 women who were taking anticoagulants (blood thinners) and 855 women who were not. Adverse reactions, lumps and bruises, after a woman’s core needle biopsy were recorded. Results showed that lumps or bruising occurred in 34% of women who were taking blood thinners and 26.5% of women who were not taking them.

“Our study demonstrates that it is safe to perform core needle biopsies on patients taking aspirin and warfarin (another name for coumadin). Patients can remain on their medications and avoid surgical biopsy if the lesion is benign,” said Dr. Somerville.

This study appears in the October issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. For a copy of the full study, please contact Heather Curry via email at hcurry@arrs.org.

Click here for the abstract

About ARRS

The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) was founded in 1900 and is the oldest radiology society in the United States. Its monthly journal, the American Journal of Roentgenology, began publication in 1906. Radiologists from all over the world attend the ARRS annual meeting to participate in instructional courses, scientific paper presentations and scientific and commercial exhibits related to the field of radiology. The Society is named after the first Nobel Laureate in Physics, Wilhelm Röentgen, who discovered the x-ray in 1895.


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