The value of percutaneous trephine biopsy in the diagnosis of lesions of the vertebral column

  • T. Odendaal
  • L.B. Lemmer


The results obtained in 55 adult patients with sinister lesions of vertebral bodies, who were subjected to percutaneous trephine biopsy, are presented. A positive diagnosis was made on histopathological examination of specimens from 24 patients (44%). In the remaining 31 patients (56%), pathological features were seen in 25. but no specific diagnosis was possible. There were 4 false-negative results. The lack of diagnostic specificity in a large proportion of the patients is explained by the fact that they presented at an advanced stage of disease (probably tuberculosis) when the process of healing had already started. In bony malignant conditions the results were very satisfactory. Percutaneous trephine biopsy is therefore a valuable diagnostic tool for positive diagnosis in a large proportion of patients with osseous lesions and for the exclusion of malignant disease.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135