Prospective randomized study comparing cryo-assisted and needle-wire localization of ultrasound-visible breast tumors

Lorraine Tafra, Richard Fine, Pat Whitworth, Michael Berry, James Woods, Gregory Ekbom, Jennifer Gass, Peter Beitsch, Daleela Dodge, Linda Han, Theodore Potruch, Darius Francescatti, Lori Oetting, J. Stanley Smith, Howard Snider, Donna Kleban, Anees Chagpar, Stephanie Akbari

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64 Scopus citations


Background: This study compared the surgical results of 2 localization methods-cryo-assisted localization (CAL) and needle-wire localization (NWL)-in patients undergoing breast lumpectomy for breast cancer. Methods: A total of 310 patients were treated in an institutional review board-approved study with 18 surgeons at 17 sites. Patients were randomized 2:1 to undergo either intraoperative CAL or NWL. A cryoprobe was inserted under ultrasound guidance in the operating room and an ice ball created an 8- to 10-mm margin around the lesion. The palpable ice ball then was dissected. NWL was placed according to institutional practice and resection was performed in a standard fashion. Surgical margins, complications, re-excisions, tissue volume, procedure times, ease of localization, specimen quality, and patient satisfaction were evaluated. Positive margins were defined as any type of disease present 1 mm or less from any specimen edge. Results: Positive margin status did not differ between the 2 groups (28% vs. 31%). The volume of tissue removed was significantly less in the CAL group (49 vs. 66 mL, P = .002). Re-excisions were similar in both groups. CAL was superior in ease of lumpectomy, quality of specimen, acute surgical cosmesis, short-term cosmesis, patient satisfaction, and overall procedure time for the patient. CAL had a lower invasive positive margin rate (11% vs. 20%, P = .039) but a higher observed ductal carcinoma in situ-positive margin rate (30% vs. 18%, approaching statistical significance, P = .052). Conclusions: CAL is a preferred alternative to standard wire localization because it provides a palpable template, removes less tissue and improves cosmesis, decreases overall procedure time, and is more convenient for the patient and surgeon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-470
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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