Thursday, 19 March 2009

First Report of a Necrotising Fasciitis of the Breast Following a Core Needle Biopsy

The first report of the aggressive infection, necrotising fasciitis following core biopsy of the breast has been reported by researchers in France.

In a paper published in The Breast Journal this month, the department of OB/GYN in Montpelier, France, describe the case of a 50 year old woman one week after a 14g stereotactic core biopsy for a BIRADS 4 - suspicious lesion.

This is an aggressive infection with a beta-hemolytic streptococcus, which requires aggressive surgery to clear (debride) the infected tissue. Previously only described following mastectomy or breast reduction, this has now occurred following a simple routine core biopsy.

When consenting a patient for a core biopsy, we routinely describe the complication of infection, along with bruising and non-removal of the target lesion. Based on this case, our management should not change, but it remains a salutary lesson, that the most aggressive type of infection can occur in patients attending for a routine biopsy.

Continued attention to hand hygiene, and an aseptic field during biopsy remain important. Interestingly, the staff performing the biopsy did not have their skin tested for whether they were carriers of the B-Hemolytic strep, so we wil never know whether this was a factor