Prospective investigation of pain associated with ultrasound- and computed tomography-guided percutaneous biopsies in oncological patients

Andrei Roman, Federica Palego, Patriciu Achimas-Cadariu, Catalin Vlad, Alexandra Andries, Ciprian Ionut Tomuleasa, Vlad Alexandru Gata, Roxana Pintican, Maria Patricia Rada, Diana Feier



The present study aims to investigate the pain, anxiety and other factors that are associated with percutaneous computed tomography (CT)- and ultrasound (US)-guided biopsies of tumors.

Material and Methods

The study prospectively included 60 consecutive patients, of which 24 underwent CT-guided biopsies and 36 US-guided biopsies. The location of targeted tumors was within the thorax, abdomen, pelvis, and limbs. A questionnaire containing numerical rate scales (0-10) regarding procedural and post-procedural pain, anxiety, and other associated parameters was filled out by each patient 2-6 hours after the procedure. CT and ultrasound parameters were compared.  The two groups were then pooled together in order to compare pain scores per targeted organ and to analyze the parameters that were associated with pain.


There was no significant difference between the CT and US group with the exception of the positional discomfort, which was higher in the CT group (p=0.003). The average procedural pain score (2.0) was significantly higher than the post-procedural pain (1.3, p=0.006) and the phlebotomy pain (0.8, p<0.0001). There was no significant difference between the targeted organs with regards to the pain score. The factors that showed a positive correlation with the procedural pain were procedure-related anxiety (p=0.005), positional discomfort (p=0.01), and phlebotomy pain (p=0.0008). The pre interventional use of an analgesic was negatively correlated with the procedural pain (p=0.02).


CT- and US- guided percutaneous biopsies are associated with low levels of pain that are generally well tolerated by patients irrespective of the targeted organ.


Ultrasonography; CT; Biopsy; Tumor; Pain



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