May 31, 1976

Needle Biopsy

Author Affiliations

Red Bank, NJ

JAMA. 1976;235(22):2391. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260480013015

To the Editor.—  With reference to Dr Tamoney's letter on parotid biopsy (235:375, 1976), I believe that surgical biopsy is not necessarily the minimum procedure for the diagnosis of any palpable nodule, including the parotid.In addition, before needle biopsy is condemned as a valid procedure, there should be a definition of what type of needle we are talking about. Crile and Hazard1 reported a case of needle-tract dissemination in 1951 when a Vim-Silverman needle was used to aspirate thyroid. I believe that today, Dr Crile does in fact endorse the fine-needle aspiration technique (personalal communication, November 1975). Other reports in the literature of needle-tract dissemination did not mention the type of needle used.Berg and Robbins2 in 1962 reported that long-term survival rates of two controlled groups were essentially the same, regardless of whether or not needle aspiration for breast cancer was done.Eneroth et al3