Safety Information Article
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       Biopsy Needles, Markers, and Devices 

Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging may be used to guide tissue biopsy and apply markers. These specialized procedures require tools that are acceptable for use with MR systems. Many commercially available biopsy needles, markers, and devices (e.g., guidewires, stylets, marking wires, marking clips, biopsy guns, etc.) have undergone MRI evaluations with respect to safety issues and artifacts. The results indicated that many of the commercially available tools are not useful for MR-guided biopsy procedures due to the presence of excessive ferromagnetism and the associated artifacts that may limit or obscure the area of interest. Fortunately, several needles, markers, and devices have been developed using materials with low magnetic susceptibility specifically for utilization in MR-guided procedures.

Although most of the biopsy guns tested for magnetic field interactions and artifacts were found to be ferromagnetic, since these are not used in the immediate area of the target tissue, artifacts associated with these devices are unlikely to affect the resulting images during MR-guided biopsy procedures. Nevertheless, the presence of ferromagnetism may preclude the optimal use of most various guns or similar devices in the MR environment, especially at 3-Tesla. Currently, there are several commercially available biopsy devices, including vacuum-assisted systems, that have been developed specifically for use in MR-guided procedures.


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