Object: To investigate the role of stereotactic biopsy in planning the optimal management of intracranial space-occupying lesions. Patients and Methods: Between December 1989 and December 1999, stereotactic biopsy was performed in 550 patients with intracranial mass lesions that were deep-seated or located in the functional area. There were 340 males and 210 females, and their ages ranged from 4 to 75 years. All the procedures were done under local anesthesia with a Leksell stereotactic system. A CT scan was used to determine the coordinates in the first 420 cases and the Aero Tech Stereotactic Surgical Plan System in the subsequent 130 patients. Results: Brain tumors were diagnosed pathologically in 475 patients (86.4%), inflammatory process in 44 (8.0%), other lesions in 12 (2.2%) and no conclusive diagnosis was found in 19 (3.4%). The overall positive rate of biopsy was 96.6%, and the positive rate for brain tumor was 86.4%. Intracranial hematomas after biopsy were found in 13 cases (2.4%). Seizures occurred during the operation in 7 cases (1.2%), and slight and transient neurological deficits were found in 23 cases (4.2%). There were no deaths or other serious complications. Conclusions: The results suggest that the stereotactic biopsy is a reliable method to obtain histopathological diagnosis of intracranial mass lesions, and it is also of great help in selecting the appropriate management.
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