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Publication numberUS20030199753 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/170,535
Publication dateOct 23, 2003
Filing dateJun 12, 2002
Priority dateApr 23, 2002
Also published asDE60314037D1, DE60314037T2, EP1356772A2, EP1356772A3, EP1356772B1, US20110015542
Publication number10170535, 170535, US 2003/0199753 A1, US 2003/199753 A1, US 20030199753 A1, US 20030199753A1, US 2003199753 A1, US 2003199753A1, US-A1-20030199753, US-A1-2003199753, US2003/0199753A1, US2003/199753A1, US20030199753 A1, US20030199753A1, US2003199753 A1, US2003199753A1
InventorsJohn Hibner, Thomas Albercht, Richard Schemberger, David Beck
Original AssigneeEthicon Endo-Surgery
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
MRI compatible biopsy device with detachable probe
US 20030199753 A1
Abstract
A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) compatible core biopsy instrument includes a detachable probe assembly to enhance the accuracy of placement at a biopsy site and avoid repeated insertions, even when used in a closed MRI magnet bore. In particular, the detachable probe assembly is configured for attachment to a localization fixture for accurate stereotopic placement to the desired biopsy site. While disengaged, dual lumens (vacuum and cutter) of the probe assembly allow applying vacuum to, draining fluid from, and insertion of fluids to the biopsy site. The biopsy instrument handle readily engages to the probe assembly for taking samples. Features are included for visual indications of the position of the cutter, prevention of disengagement when the cutter is advanced into the probe assembly, and a tolerance take-out feature that minimizes the deadzone gap at a distal end of the probe assembly, allowing samples to be taken close to sensitive tissues.
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Claims(20)
What is claimed is:
1. A biopsy device, comprising:
a detachable probe assembly comprising:
an elongated substantially tubular needle having a distal end for insertion within tissue, a proximal end, and a longitudinal axis therebetween, a cutter opening laterally placed near the distal end, and
an engagement device coupled to the proximal end of the needle, the engagement device including a cutter access port aligned to the longitudinal axis of the needle; and
a cutter member comprising:
a locking device configured to selectably lock to the engagement device of the detachable insertion member, and
an actuating cutter for reciprocating advancement and withdrawal through the needle.
2. The biopsy device of claim 1, wherein the needle of the detachable probe assembly further includes a vacuum chamber lumen in fluid communication between the cutter opening and the proximal end.
3. The biopsy device of claim 1, wherein the detachable insertion member is compatible for use with a magnetic resonance imaging machine, including non-ferromagnetic materials.
4. The biopsy device of claim 1, wherein the detachable insertion member further comprises a vacuum port in fluid communication with the longitudinal axis for transferal of fluids.
5. The biopsy device of claim 1, further comprising:
an obturator stylet shaped to receive and seal at least the proximal end of the longitudinal axis of the needle when the cutter member is removed from the detachable insertion member.
6. The biopsy device of claim 5, wherein the needle of the detachable probe assembly further includes a vacuum chamber lumen in fluid communication between the cutter opening and the proximal end, and. wherein distal portion of the obturator stylet includes through holes to allow the cutter opening to be in fluid communication with the vacuum chamber lumen.
7. The biopsy device of claim 1, wherein the locking device of the cutter member is further configured to prevent unlocking when the actuating cutter is inserted into the needle.
8. The biopsy device of claim 1, wherein the cutter member further comprises a vacuum extraction system for selectably withdrawing a cut piece of tissue through the needle.
9. The biopsy device of claim 1, wherein the cutter member further includes an insertion indicator that provides a visual indication to an operator as to a depth of insertion of the cutter
10. The biopsy device of claim 1, further comprising a tolerance take-out device for eliminating longitudinal slack between the engagement device and the locking device, thereby minimizing a deadzone length at the distal end of the needle.
11. The biopsy device of claim 10, wherein the tolerance take out device comprises a translating member coupled to advance with the actuating cutter and dimensioned to impart distally directed motion to the engagement member.
12. The biopsy device of claim 1, further comprising
a tip protector including:
an attachment member selectably engageable onto the distal end of the tubular needle and having a recess exposing at least a portion of the cutter opening, and
a protection member coupled to the attachment member and shaped to encompass the distal end of the tubular needle.
13. The biopsy device of claim 1, further comprising
a tip protector including:
an attachment member selectably engageable onto the distal end of the tubular needle, and
a protection member coupled to the attachment member, shaped to encompass the distal end of the tubular needle, and including an image artifact producing material.
14. The biopsy device of claim 13, wherein the attachment member of the tip protector further includes a recess exposing at least a portion of the cutter opening of the tubular needle.
15. A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)-guided core biopsy system, comprising:
a core biopsy probe assembly;
an MRI breast coil including a localization fixture comprising:
a compression plate having apertures, and
a mounting device operably configured to connect to the probe assembly at a selected orientation to the compression plate and to guide the probe assembly in depth as inserted through a selected aperture;
a cutter device selectably attachable to the probe assembly to advance a cutter through the probe assembly to cut a tissue sample;
a control module operable to generate a translation motion and a rotation motion; and
a power cable connecting the translation motion and the rotation motion from the control module to the cutter of the cutter device.
16. The MRI-guided core biopsy system of claim 15, wherein the core biopsy probe assembly includes a cutter lumen for receiving the cutter device, a sample opening in the cutter lumen to allow a tissue sample to enter the cutter lumen, and includes vacuum lumen in fluid communication with the sample opening and a proximal end of the probe assembly, and wherein the control module is further operable to produce a vacuum through the vacuum lumen.
17. A core biopsy probe comprising:
an elongated substantially tubular needle having a distal end for insertion within tissue, a proximal end, and a longitudinal axis therebetween, the needle separated along the longitudinal axis into a cutter lumen and a vacuum lumen, a cutter opening laterally placed near the distal end of the cutter lumen and in fluid communication with the vacuum lumen; and
an engagement device coupled to the proximal end of the needle, the engagement device including a cutter access port aligned to the longitudinal axis of the needle; and a vacuum port in fluid communication with the vacuum lumen, the engagement device further including a attachment member transversely disposed to the longitudinal axis and configured to attach to a mounting device for maintaining a position of the probe with respect to a biopsy site location.
18. The core biopsy probe of claim 17, further comprising
a tip protector including:
an attachment member selectably engageable onto the distal end of the tubular needle and having a recess exposing at least a portion of the cutter opening, and
a protection member coupled to the attachment member and shaped to encompass the distal end of the tubular needle, and including an image artifact producing material.
19. The core biopsy probe of claim 17, wherein the distal end of the tubular needle includes a needle tip having a distally projecting cutting blade.
20. the core biopsy probe of claim 19, wherein the distally projecting cutting blade comprises an X-shaped pointed cutting blade.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application hereby claims the benefit of the provisional patent application of the same title, Serial No. 60/374,635 filed on Apr. 23, 2002. The present application is related to co-pending and commonly-owned applications filed on even date herewith entitled “LOCALIZATION MECHANISM FOR AN MRI COMPATIBLE BIOPSY DEVICE” to Hibner et al. and “METHOD FOR PERFORMING MINIMALLY INVASIVE BIOPSY IN AN MRI MACHINE” to Hibner et al., the disclosure of both is hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates, in general to devices for tissue sampling and, more particularly, to an improved device for core biopsy probes stereotopically positioned by coordinates derived from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans for acquiring subcutaneous biopsies and for removing lesions.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The diagnosis and treatment of patients with cancerous tumors, pre-malignant conditions, and other disorders has long been an area of intense investigation. Non-invasive methods for examining tissue are palpation, Thermography, PET, SPECT, Nuclear imaging, X-ray, MRI, CT, and ultrasound imaging. When the physician suspects that tissue may contain cancerous cells, a biopsy may be done either in an open procedure or in a percutaneous procedure. For an open procedure, a scalpel is used by the surgeon to create a large incision in the tissue in order to provide direct viewing and access to the tissue mass of interest. Removal of the entire mass (excisional biopsy) or a part of the mass (incisional biopsy) is done. For a percutaneous biopsy, a needle-like instrument is used through a very small incision to access the tissue mass of interest and to obtain a tissue sample for a later examination and analysis. The advantages of the percutaneous method as compared to the open method are significant: less recovery time for the patient, less pain, less surgical time, lower cost, less risk of injury to adjacent bodily tissues such as nerves, and less disfigurement of the patient's anatomy. Use of the percutaneous method in combination with artificial imaging devices such as X-ray and ultrasound has resulted in highly reliable diagnoses and treatments.

[0004] Generally there are two ways to percutaneously obtain a portion of tissue from within the body, by aspiration or by core sampling. Aspiration of the tissue through a fine needle requires the tissue to be fragmented into small enough pieces to be withdrawn in a fluid medium. The method is less intrusive than other known sampling techniques, but one can only examine cells in the liquid (cytology) and not the cells and structure (pathology). In core sampling, a core or fragment of tissue is obtained for histologic examination, genetic tests, which may be done via a frozen or paraffin section. The type of biopsy used depends mainly on various factors present in the patient, and no single procedure is ideal for all cases. However, core biopsies seem to be more widely used by physicians.

[0005] Recently, core biopsy devices have been combined with imaging technology to better target the lesion. A number of these devices have been commercialized. One such commercially available product is marketed under the trademark name MAMMOTOME™, Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. An embodiment of such a device is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,526,822 issued to Burbank, et al., on Jun. 18, 1996, and is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

[0006] As seen from that reference, the instrument is a type of image-guided, percutaneous, coring, breast biopsy instrument. It is vacuum-assisted, and some of the steps for retrieving the tissue samples have been automated. The physician uses this device to capture “actively” (using the vacuum) the tissue prior to severing it from the body. This allows the sampling tissues of varying hardness. The device can also be used to collect multiple samples in numerous positions about its longitudinal axis, and without removing the device from the body. These features allow for substantial sampling of large lesions and complete removal of small ones.

[0007] Co-pending application Ser. No. 09/825,899 filed on Apr. 2, 1997, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference, described other features and potential improvements to the device including a molded tissue cassette housing permitting the handling and viewing of multiple tissue samples without physical contact by the instrument operator. Another described therein is the interconnection of the housing to the piercing needle using a thumbwheel, to permit the needle to rotate relative to the housing, the preventing the vacuum tube from wrapping about the housing. During use, the thumbwheel is rotated so that the device rotates within the lesion, and samples can be taken at different points within the lesion.

[0008] In actual clinical use for breast biopsy the instrument (probe and driver assembly) is mounted to the three axis-positioning head of an x-ray imaging machine. The three axis-positioning heads is located in the area between the x-ray source and the image plate. The x-ray machines are outfitted with a computerized system which requires two x-ray images of the breast be taken with the x-ray source at two different positions in order for the computer to calculate x, y and z axis location of the suspect abnormality. In order to take the stereo x-ray images the x-ray source must be conveniently movable. The x-ray source therefore is typically mounted to an arm which, at the end opposite the x-ray source, is pivotally mounted to the frame of the machine in the region of the image plate.

[0009] Recently, there has been a need for a hand held core sampling biopsy device. This need has been fulfilled by Ethicon-Endo Surgery in U.S. Pat. No. 6,086,544 issued on Jul. 11, 2000, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference. This aforementioned patent discloses a hand held MAMMOTOME™ that may be held approximately parallel to the chest wall of the patient for obtaining tissue portions close to the chest wall than may be obtained when using an instrument that may be obtained when using an instrument that is mounted is manipulated by the operator's hand rather than by an electromechanical arm. Thus, the operator may steer the tip of the handpiece on the MAMMOTOME™ with great freedom towards the tissue mass of interest. The surgeon has tactile feedback while doing so and can thus ascertain to a significant, degree, the density and hardness of the tissue being encountered. In addition, a hand held MAMMOTOME™ is desirable because the handpiece on the MAMMOTOME™ may be held approximately parallel to the chest wall of the patient for obtaining tissue portions closer to the chest wall than may be obtained when using an instrument that is mounted to an electromechanical arm.

[0010] Recently, there has been a desire to use the above described biopsy devices with MRI imaging devices instead of x-ray imaging devices. However, existing medical biopsy sampling devices use small, multi-lumen probes extensively fabricated mostly if not entirely from metal. However, the ability to provide accurate minimally invasive diagnosis of suspicious breast lesions hinges on the size of the sample obtained and accuracy in placement of the sampling device.

[0011] The metallic nature of these probes has many drawbacks. Typically these metal probes are electrically conductive and often magnetically weak, which interferes with their use under MRI guidance. The electrically conductive and magnetically weak nature of metal probes often work to create field distortions, called artifacts, on the image. The image of the lesion will show the metal probe, and this is problematic because the image of the probe can obscure the image of the lesion.

[0012] The small sample size of conventional biopsy needles also presents a significant limitation due to the increase in the duration of the procedure. Due to the tendency for contrast agent to “wash out” of suspicious lesions, and the progressive increase in enhancement of surrounding non-malignant breast parenchyma, suspicious lesions may become indistinguishable to the breast parenchyma within a few minutes. This limits the number of samples that can be retrieved using conventional spring-loaded core biopsy needles under direct imaging guidance.

[0013] A further problem not infrequently encountered during core needle biopsy is the development of a hematoma at the biopsy site during the procedure. An accumulating hematoma can be problematic during MRI-guided biopsy because residual contrast agent circulating in the hematoma can mimic enhancement in a suspicious lesion. In addition, the accumulation of air at the biopsy site can cause susceptibility artifacts that can potentially interfere with the fat-suppression MRI techniques at the biopsy site cavity.

[0014] These limitations of conventional biopsy needles have led several authors to conclude that lesions should be at least 1 cm in diameter before imaging could confirm that the MRI-guided biopsy device was definitely within (as opposed to adjacent to) the suspicious target. However, the demand for minimally invasive MRI-guided core biopsy is greatest for small lesions because they are more common, more difficult to characterize on MRI grounds alone, and have the best prognosis if they are found to be malignant.

[0015] Therefore, there has been a desire to have generally non-metallic (especially non-ferromagnetic) biopsy probe of the type described above to eliminate artifacts. These needs have been filled by co-pending and commonly-owned application Ser. No. ______ , “AN MRI COMPATIBLE SURGICAL BIOPSY DEVICE” to Huitema et al filed on Dec. 12, 2001, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. The lack of undesirable artifacts for the disclosed hand-held biopsy device allows the accurate placement of the probe. Moreover, disclosed vacuum assist allows visualization of the lesion entering a bowl of the probe to confirm accurate placement, as well as avoiding problems associated with a hematoma or an air cavity. Moreover, the volume and ability to rapidly rotate the open cutting bowl of the probe allows for multiple samples in succession without removal of the probe. Thereby, the duration of the procedure is reduced.

[0016] However, elimination of the artifact created by the metal probe entirely is also problematic because physicians rely extensively on some type of artifact to notify them as to where the tip of the probe is relative to the lesion. These needs have been filled by co-pending and commonly-owned application and Ser. No. ______ , entitled “AN MRI COMPATIBLE BIOPSY DEVICE HAVING A TIP WHICH LEAVES AN ARTIFACT” to Rhad et al., filed on Dec. 12, 2001, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety. Having a target in the cutter at the distal end of the probe helps avoid advancing the probe through the chest cavity as well as accurately placing the bowl of the probe adjacent to the suspicious tissue for drawing into the cutting bowl.

[0017] While the aforementioned hand-held MRI compatible biopsy devices provide many advantages, opportunities exist for improvements and additional clinical functionality. For instance, the hand-held biopsy device presents a long, external handle that is inappropriate for closed magnet MRI machines. Furthermore, while the hand-held biopsy device allows great freedom in lateral and angular orientation, in some instances it is preferable to specifically position the biopsy probe. The MRI machine may provide very accurate stereotactic placement information that is only partially utilized in inserting the probe. In particular, the hand-held biopsy device is inserted through an opening in a compression plate, so some two-dimensional alignment is provided. However, the angle and depth of insertion the probe tends to vary, especially without continual reimaging of the probe during insertion, which is particularly inappropriate for closed MRI magnets.

[0018] Furthermore, the vacuum assist reduces occurrence of a hematoma and draws in tissue to increase the sample size without repositioning the probe; however, current clinical procedures often require additional invasive procedures to the biopsy site to administer anesthesia or to perform additional diagnostic or treatment procedures.

[0019] Consequently, a significant need exists for an MRI-guided biopsy device for increased positioning accuracy, especially one suitable for both open and closed MRI machines and which supports additional diagnostic and therapeutic treatments to the biopsy site without requiring additional invasive procedures.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0020] The invention overcomes the above-noted and other deficiencies of the prior art by providing a detachable probe assembly that is physically located with respect to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) stereotopic guidance so that a biopsy site location is accurately and rapidly acquired and maintained. Being separately fixable to a localization mechanism used with a breast coil allows for use of core biopsy procedures in closed MRI machines without repeated insertions of the biopsy probe. Even if used with an open MRI machine, the detachable nature avoids having to hold in place for an extended period of time by hand a biopsy handle, which provides a cutter to the biopsy probe.

[0021] In one aspect of the invention, the detachable biopsy probe includes a dual lumen elongated tubular needle. In addition to a cutter lumen that has a cutter or sample opening laterally placed near the distal end, a vacuum chamber lumen is in fluid communication with the sample opening to vacuum assist the taking of a biopsy sample. The probe assembly includes an engagement member that is readily spatially fixed. The engagement member provides access to the vacuum chamber lumen for fluid or gas transfer and provides access to the cutter lumen by the biopsy handle and by other diagnostic and therapeutic tools.

[0022] In another aspect of the invention, a biopsy tool is provided with a detachable probe assembly with a needle having at least one lumen for taking biopsies. An engagement member at the proximal end of the needle allows attachment to a mounting device that positions the needle. The biopsy tool also includes a biopsy handle that readily engages and disengages to the detachable probe so that diagnostic scans can be performed even within the narrow confines of some scanning machines.

[0023] In yet another aspect of the invention, a core biopsy system is disclosed with the biopsy tool mechanically powered remotely via a power cord from a control module. A localization mechanism is used in conjunction with a breast coil to position the detachable probe assembly and to guide the probe assembly when inserted into a patient's breast to be MRI imaged. Accurate positioning of the probe assembly is enhanced by alignment guides that may be referenced to stereotactic coordinates provided by the MRI scan, aiding in the accurate insertion of the probe the designated biopsy site.

[0024] These and other objects and advantages of the present invention shall be made apparent from the accompanying drawings and the description thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0025]FIG. 1 is plan view of the biopsy instrument, mounting fixture, an Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) breast coil fixture, and patient support table in working relationship outside the confines of an MRI machine.

[0026]FIG. 2 is a plan view of the biopsy instrument, localization fixture, partially cut away MRI breast coil fixture, patient support table, and in working relationship and configured for insertion into a MRI machine.

[0027]FIG. 3 is a plan view of the localization fixture, partially cut away MRI breast coil fixture, patient support table, and a detached probe assembly of the biopsy instrument mounted to the localization fixture, in working relationship and configured for insertion into the MRI machine.

[0028]FIG. 4 is an isometric view of the biopsy instrument disassembled into a biopsy instrument handle, probe housing, and probe.

[0029]FIG. 4A is a frontal isometric detail view of an alternative needle tip of a biopsy instrument.

[0030]FIG. 5 is an exploded isometric view of the biopsy instrument handle.

[0031]FIG. 6 is an exploded isometric view of the probe of the biopsy instrument of FIG. 4.

[0032]FIG. 7 is a transverse cross section of the probe of the biopsy instrument of FIG. 4 along lines 7-7.

[0033]FIG. 8 is an enlarged isometric view of the interface between the handle and probe housing illustrating the visual confirmation elements that indicate the position of the distal end of the cutter.

[0034]FIG. 9 is a fragmentary plan view in partial section of the distal portion of the handle and probe housing and assembly, illustrating the disconnect feature with the cutter retracted.

[0035]FIG. 10 is a fragmentary plan view in partial section of the distal portion of the handle and probe housing and assembly, illustrating the tolerance take-out feature and the disabled disconnect feature when the cutter is advanced.

[0036]FIG. 11 is an isometric view of the biopsy instrument with the handle portion disconnected from a tower/bracket localization fixture and probe assembly.

[0037]FIG. 12 is an isometric view of the biopsy instrument mounted to the tower/bracket localization fixture of FIG. 11.

[0038]FIG. 13 is an exploded isometric view of the tower/bracket localization version of the localization fixture and probe assembly of the biopsy instrument.

[0039]FIG. 14 is a side elevation view of the biopsy instrument in partial section to illustrate a tower/bracket support for stabilizing the handle and probe assembly of the biopsy instrument.

[0040]FIG. 15 is a side elevation view of the dual tower support version of the localization fixture positioning a detachable probe assembly with its dual lumens closed by a vacuum conduit and an obturator stylet.

[0041]FIG. 16 is an isometric view of the biopsy instrument mounted to a dual tower localization fixture.

[0042]FIG. 17 is an isometric view of the slide plate of a localization fixture guiding a scissors support in a lowered position for vertically orienting a biopsy instrument.

[0043]FIG. 18 is an isometric view of the slide plate of a localization fixture guiding the scissors support in a raised position for vertically orienting a biopsy instrument.

[0044]FIG. 19 is a sequence of clinical operations for using the detachable MRI-guided biopsy instrument of FIG. 1 in both open and closed MRI machines.

[0045]FIG. 20 is an isometric view of a tip protector mounted onto a needle tip of the detachable probe assembly of FIG. 11.

[0046]FIG. 21 is an isometric detail view of the trip protector of FIG. 20.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0047]FIG. 1 depicts a core biopsy instrument system 10 that is vacuum assisted, detachable, and compatible with use in a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine, such as the depicted closed MRI machine 12. In the illustrative embodiment, the core biopsy instrument system 10 includes an MRI-compatible biopsy tool 14 that is selectably attached to a localization mechanism or fixture 16 to accurately and rapidly perform core biopsies of breast tissue with a minimum of insertions of a biopsy probe. A control module (not shown) senses encoder position signal and switch signals from the biopsy tool 14 and provides mechanical and vacuum power to the biopsy tool 14 via power cord 18.

[0048] With reference to FIGS. 1-2, a patient 20 is lying prone upon a patient support table 22, depicted in FIG. 1 as removed from a magnet bore 24 of the MRI machine 12. The patient's chest rests upon a top surface 26 of a chest support 28, the top surface 24 having openings 30, 32 for allowing the patient's breasts to hang downward for imaging and treatment. With particular reference to FIG. 2, the right opening 30 is depicted with the localizer fixture 16 laterally positioned to cooperate with a medial compression plate (not shown) to longitudinally fix and compress the patient's right breast. Antenna elements (not shown) are placed about the opening 30 to detect radio frequency (RF) signals emanated by breast tissue induced by a strong magnetic field from the MRI bore 24. The chest support 28 and antennas are generally termed a breast coil 34.

[0049] The biopsy tool 14 includes a biopsy handle 36 that is attachable to a probe assembly 38. The localization fixture 16 accurately positions the probe assembly 38 for stereotactic mammography biopsy procedures for a specific biopsy site location for a distal tip 40 of the probe assembly 38. This location is identified by an X-axis coordinate that is horizontal and longitudinal with respect to the patient (depicted as right to left in FIGS. 1-2). A Z-axis is defined as the vertical height, with the X and Z axis orthogonally defined on a lateral compression plate 42 of the localization fixture 16, the lateral compression plate 42 cooperating with the medial compression plate (not shown) to fix and compress the patient's breast. This location is also defined in terms of depth of insertion, or Y-axis, which is depicted as up and down in the FIGS. 1-2. A probe assembly mounting device 44 connects to a probe housing 46 of the biopsy tool 14.

[0050] The mounting device 44 includes alignment positioning guides (described in more detail below) to orient the probe housing 46, and hence the probe assembly 38, to the desired X-Y-Z coordinate. For instance, a depth slide 48 allows mounting of the probe assembly 38 with the distal tip 40 extends outside of the opening 30 and lateral compression plate 42. Thereafter, the probe assembly 38 is guided along the Y-axis by the depth slide 48 while maintaining the selected X-Z-axes coordinates. In addition, the mounting device 44 advantageously supports the biopsy handle 36 when attached to the probe assembly 38 as depicted in FIG. 2 to maintain the angle of insertion of the probe assembly 38. The probe housing 46 provides access to the interior of the probe assembly 38 via a vacuum lumen access conduit 50 for draining fluids, inserting fluids such as anesthetics.

[0051]FIG. 3 depicts the core biopsy instrument system 10 with the biopsy handle 36 removed and the depth slide 48 moved inward to allow insertion of the patient support table 22 into the narrow confines of the MRI magnet bore 24. Moreover, the surgeon may take full advantage of the stereotactic coordinates provided by the MRI machine 12, even if using a closed magnetic bore 24. In particular, the stereotactic derived coordinates may be used even if not actively imaging the probe assembly 38 during insertion. The localization fixture 16 enables the surgeon to manually insert the probe assembly 38 with an indication of current depth. The surgeon is given tactile feedback while doing so and can thus ascertain to a significant degree the density and hardness of tissue being encountered. Alternately, a mechanism to provide mechanical advantage to the pedestal may enable a controlled and deliberate insertion of the probe into the tissue. In addition, a means to prevent the pedestal and probe assembly from moving proximally once inserted to the proper location within the tissue would aid in maintaining the proper position of the probe within the tissue. With the probe assembly 38 maintained in the correct location after insertion, the probe assembly 38 provides access for other diagnostic and therapeutic tools and fluid treatments.

[0052] Alternatively or in addition, a Y-axis adjustment mechanism may be incorporated into the localization fixture 16 to provide mechanical advantage, thereby achieving a controlled and deliberate insertion of the probe assembly 38. Moreover, the Y-axis adjustment mechanism may incorporate a frictional, ratcheting or locking feature to prevent inadvertent movement of the probe assembly 38 after placement at the desired biopsy location. Examples of such Y-axis adjustment include but are not limited to a thumb wheel in geared communication between the probe assembly mounting device 150 and the localizer support frame 126.

[0053]FIG. 4 depicts the biopsy tool 14 with the biopsy handle 36 depicted as readily attached to the probe housing 46, which in turn is readily attached to the probe assembly 38. The probe assembly 38 includes a male cylindrical mating portion 52 presenting a central cutter opening 54 on a proximal end that is aligned with the longitudinal length of a cutter lumen 56 of an elongated needle 58. The cutter lumen 56 communicates with a sample port 60 laterally presented near a needle tip 62 at the distal end of the needle 58. The needle tip 62 is for penetrating the soft tissue of a surgical patient. The needle tip 60 is sharpened and is preferably made from an MRI compatible resin such as ULTEM or VECTRA. In the illustrative embodiment, the needle tip 60 is a three-sided pyramidal shaped point, although the needle tip 62 configuration may also have other shapes and/or inserts. For example, a sharpened blade inserted into the tip would reduce the probe insertion force into tissue. The blade could be made of titanium, stainless steel, nitinol, aluminum, Elgiloy, etc. In addition, as in the aforementioned application Ser. No. ______ , entitled “AN MRI COMPATIBLE BIOPSY DEVICE HAVING A TIP WHICH LEAVES AN ARTIFACT”, the illustrative embodiment advantageously includes a material that leaves a small, but not troublesome artifact on an MRI scan.

[0054]FIG. 4A depicts a needle tip 62′ having a conical shape with a distally presented X-shaped slot 63 for receiving a pointed, sharpened blade 65 that reduces the probe insertion force into tissue. The blade 65 could be made of titanium, stainless steel, nitinol, aluminum, Elgiloy, ceramic, etc. It will be appreciated that other shapes of sharpened blade 65 may be used, such as a single pointed surface in a distally presented single slot rather than two perpedicularly crossed, pointed surfaces as depicted.

[0055] It will be appreciated that a cutter element or an obturator stylet is advanced inside the cutter lumen 56 to block the sample port 60 during insertion. Once the needle 58 is positioned, the sample port 60 is exposed to allow tissue to enter. In particular, a vacuum may be presented to a “sample bowl” inside the cutter lumen 56 near the sample port 60 by applying vacuum power through a vacuum chamber lumen 64 that communicates along the longitudinal length of the needle 58 to the male cylindrical mating portion 52. In particular, a series of small holes allow gas and fluid to enter the vacuum chamber lumen 64 from the sample port 60 but prevent tissue samples from entering.

[0056] Annular rings 66 about the cylindrical mating portion 52 grip and seal to an interior of a female cylindrical mating portion 68 on the probe housing 46. Between annular rings, a proximal vacuum port (not shown in FIG. 4) communicates with a vacuum passage (not shown) in the probe housing 46. The engagement between the mating portions 52, 68 advantageously allows rotation of the needle 58 with a thumb wheel 70 annularly presented near the proximal end of the needle 58. The radial opening presented by the annual rings 66 maintains communication between the vacuum passage in the probe housing 46 and the vacuum chamber lumen 64 regardless of radial orientation of the needle 58. Thereby, the sample port 60 may be presented to tissue at any and all radial positions about the distal end of the needle 58. With the assistance of vacuum, a large volume of tissue may be selectably drawn into the sample bowl for biopsy sampling.

[0057] The probe housing 46 includes laterally presented attachment prongs 72 for mounting to the localization fixture 16. In addition, the probe housing 46 presents a proximally directed cuboidal engagement member 74 with longitudinally aligned vertical and horizontal grooves 76 for flanges 78 from the biopsy handle 36. The probe housing 46 also receives hooked locking tabs 80, 82 on the distal engaging end of the biopsy handle 36 for selective locking and unlocking under the influence of a pair of opposing depression grips 84, 86 attached to respective tabs 80, 82. The biopsy handle 36 includes a sample window 88 for extracting any tissue sample withdrawn from the cutter lumen 52 under the influence of a vacuum passing through the cutter, as described in more detail below.

[0058]FIG. 5 depicts a disassembled biopsy handle 36 that contains the means for translating and rotating a cutter 90 within the cutter lumen 56. It will be appreciated that two rotating mechanical power sources are presented to the proximal end of the biopsy handle 36 through the power cord 18 to provide the independent translation and rotation motions. These two rotating mechanical power sources enter through a cord opening 92 defined between a removable shell 94 and a bottom shell 96, the two held together by screws. Alternately, one rotating mechanical power source could drive both translation and rotation elements. Via standard gearing means, the single power source could be appropriately connected to both of the drive elements. The removable shell 94 is removed when assembling a power cord 18 to the handle 36. A lower gear housing 98 is supported upon the bottom shell 96 and cooperates with a top shell 100 to constrain movement of an elongate drive screw 102, an elongate axial screw 104 and cutter carriage 106. In particular, both screws 102, 104 are allowed to rotate, positioned parallel to one another and the longitudinal axis of the cutter lumen 56. Each screw 102, 104 is driven by a respective power source from the power cord 18. The drive screw 102 passes through the carriage 106 and interacts with corresponding ridges therein to impart a longitudinal translation corresponding to the direction and rate of rotation of the drive screw 102.

[0059] In some applications, a single rotary power source may be used as an alternative to two independent rotating mechanical power sources. A transmission mechanism at the biopsy handle 36 may convert the single rotary power source into the two motions, translation and rotation. As yet another alternative, the single rotary power source may directly supply both a translation and rotary motion. Such a translating and rotating power cable would be coupled to the cutter 90 to directly control its movement.

[0060] The cutter 90 is an elongate tube with a sharpened distal end for cutting tissue presented within the distal end of the cutter lumen 56. The proximal end of the cutter 90 includes a cutter gear 108 that is exposed through a gear window 110 of the carriage 106 to mesh with the axial screw 104 for axial rotation of the cutter 90. A tissue remover 111 is a tube that is fixedly aligned with the longitudinal axis to enter the proximal end of the cutter 90. The tissue remover 111 extends up to the sample window 88 and has a vacuum selectably applied to it by the control module. Thus, when the cutter 90 is retracted, vacuum from the tissue remover 111 draws the sample to the distal end of the cutter 90 for retraction to the sample window 88, whereupon the sample encounter the tissue remover 111 and is dislodged for exiting the biopsy tool 14.

[0061] The carriage 106 includes distally projected guides 112, 114 that advantageously take-out slack between biopsy handle 36 and the probe housing 46, as well as providing indicia to the surgeon as to the depth of translation of the cutter 90. Taking out slack between the assembled parts of the handle 36 and housing 46 advantageously minimizes the deadzone length of the distal end of the needle 58. The cutter 90 should completely translate past the sample port 60 in order to reliably cut a sample. To ensure a full cut, the cutter 90 should translate the maximum distance expected for the assembly. If variation exists in manufacturing tolerances between the engagement components, then a further distance has to be included in the cutter lumen 56 distal to the sample port 60 to accommodate the over-travel. Thereby, the needle tip 62 must be advanced farther than desirable in some instances, preventing placement of the sample port 60 near critical body tissues. At or near full travel, the guides 112, 114 contact the probe housing 46, causing movement of the housing 46 to its maximum, distal position. Thus, critical dimensioning to minimize tolerance build-up is simplified.

[0062]FIG. 5 also depicts a brace 116 and brace arm 118 that are employed in one version of the localization fixture 16 to support the weight and maintain the alignment of the handle 36. Thereby, flexure of the assembly is avoided that may place a load on the probe assembly 38, and thus unwanted movement of the needle 58 from the desired biopsy site location.

[0063] FIGS. 6-7 depict the needle 58 of FIG. 4 and described more fully in the aforementioned application Ser. No. ______ , entitled “AN MRI COMPATIBLE SURGICAL BIOPSY DEVICE”. In particular, elongated needle 58 is formed from a left body member 120 and a right body member 121 on either side of the longitudinal axis. The edges of the halves 120 and 121 are gated for easy part filling, and the edges are stepped with ridges that allow the two halves 120 and 121 to attach together with ease. The two halves 120, 121 are adhesively attached to one another. A cutter tube liner 122 is inserted between the two halves 120, 121 to provide a smooth surface for the cutter 90, especially by preventing adhesive from entering the cutter lumen 56 during assembly; as well as, aid in pneumatically sealing the cutter lumen from the vacuum lumen.

[0064]FIG. 8 shows an enlarged view of the engagement of the handle 36 to the probe housing 46, with the advanced cutter 90 evident through the window 88. In addition, the guides 112, 114 are advanced almost into contact with the probe housing 46, indicating that the distal end of the cutter 90 is approaching its furthest translation. The guides 112, 114 contact the probe housing 90 when at or near this extreme to take-out any tolerance. Indicia on the side of the guides 112, 114 may be referenced by the surgeon to determine the position of the cutter. Also shown in more detail is hooked locking tabs 80, 82 entering the probe housing 46, the thumb wheel 70 used to rotate the needle 80, and the vacuum lumen access conduit 50 used to evacuate or otherwise access the vacuum lumen 64.

[0065] FIGS. 8-10 show that each grip 84, 86 includes a respective inwardly projecting member 124, 125 that contact the guides 112, 114 when the cutter 90 is distally advanced, thereby preventing removal of the handle 36. In FIG. 9, the cutter 90 is retracted, allowed the depression of the grips 84, 86, unlocking the hooked locking tabs 80, 82 from the probe housing 46. In FIG. 10, cutter carriage 106 is advanced, the guides 112, 114 are contacting the probe housing 46, thereby removing any longitudinal gap between the hooked locking tabs 80, 86 and the probe housing 46.

[0066] FIGS. 11-14 depicts a localization fixture 16 that includes means for accurately positioning the probe assembly 38 and supporting the biopsy handle 36. In particular, a localizer support frame 126 is formed from the compression plate 42 in a hinged, orthogonal relation to a horizontal slide plate 128, both laterally attached to one another by gussets 130, 132. Rods 134, 136 horizontally pass through the compression plate to adjustably attach to the medial compression plate (not shown) for compressing the patient's breast. Apertures, depicted as parallel rows of slots 138, in the compression plate 42 are provided to obtain access to a desired biopsy site location while providing enough remaining structure in the compression plate 42 for adequate contact with the patient's breast. Alternately, the apertures may be a series of holes aligned both horizontally and vertically or simply one large opening. Alternatively, the apertures may be a series of holes aligned both vertically and vertically, parallel columns of slots, or a large opening of other shapes. As yet a further alternative, portions of the compression plate 42 may be permeable to allow an aperture to be formed as needed.

[0067] The desired biopsy site location is stereotopically determined during an MRI scan with reference to a fiducial marker 140 that presents a small artifact. The fiducial marker 140 is contained within a fiducial marker holder 142 that may be placed at a convenient location on the compression plate 42, accurately placed with reference to indents spaced along the slots 138. Alternatively, the fiducial marker may be embedded or affixed to the compression plate 42.

[0068] The localizer support frame 126 defines and provides the guide for positioning the probe assembly 38. The X-Y-Z axes are defined with regard to the slots 138 and compression plate 42. In particular, the vertical dimension, or Z-axis, and horizontal dimension, or X-axis, are defined by the surface of the compression plate 42. The depth dimension, or Y-axis, is defined as distance away from the plane of the compression plate 42. The horizontal slide plate 128 includes laterally aligned front and back rails 144, 146 for setting the X-axis coordinate. Horizontal indicia 148 along the front rail 144 give the surgeon an accurate measurement of the position of a probe assembly mounting device 150.

[0069] A first version of the mounting device 150 is depicted that uses a single vertical pedestal 152 to position and support the probe assembly 38. In addition, the biopsy handle 36 is supported by the brace 116 connected to the proximal underside of the handle 36 to a handle support rod 156 that is slid through a rod hole 158 to the corresponding side of the vertical pedestal 152. The appropriate height for the brace 116 is determined by selecting one of a range of slots arrayed along the underside of the handle, thereby pivoting the brace 116 about the brace arm 118 whose first end slidably pivots within a slot 162 in the middle of the brace 154 and second end attaches to the distal end of the handle 36.

[0070] With the handle 36 detached from the probe assembly 38 as depicted in FIG. 11, an obturator stylet 164 is slide into the cutter lumen 56 to close the cutter port 88. The stylet 164 may have radially oriented through holes near its distal end to maintain fluid communication between the tissue and the vacuum lumen. Alternately, the stylet 164 may be partially withdrawn, allowing the cutter port 88 to be in fluid communication with the conduit 50.

[0071] A slide 166 includes a grooved underside to horizontally slide on rails 144, 146 of the slide plate 128. The slide 166 also includes a central channel 168 oriented in the Y-axis depth dimension to guide the pedestal 152 as it slides in the Y-axis direction. Sufficient range of motion in depth is achieved with a pivoting depth slide 170, aligned and pivotally attached to the slide 166. With the pivoting depth slide 170 in its lowest, horizontal position, the pedestal 152 may be slid outward sufficiently for the probe assembly 38 to be out of the compression plate 42. With the pedestal 152 distally slid onto the slide 166, the pivoting depth slide 170 may be pivoted upward or otherwise removed to allow the patient to be transferred into the magnet 24. Depth indicia 172 along the central channel 168 give the surgeon an indication of the insertion depth of the probe assembly 38.

[0072] A vertical slide 174 slides on the pedestal 152 for vertical positioning along the Z-axis, with a measurement provided by vertical indicia 176 on the pedestal 152. Holes 178 on each lateral side of the vertical slide 174 allow mounting of the probe housing 46 on either side by insertion of attachment probes 72.

[0073] FIGS. 15-16 depict a second version of the mounting device 150 that uses a second vertical pedestal 180 in lieu of a brace assembly to support the handle 36. The probe housing 46 is also depicted as attached to the opposite side of the first vertical pedestal 152. A second vertical slide 181 of the second vertical slide 180 advantages contacts the first vertical slide 174, as shown in FIG. 16, so that setting the vertical height for both is accomplished in one step. Each vertical slide 174, 181 moves in a ratchet fashion against its respective vertical pedestal 152, 180, and thus remains in position after being separated from one another as shown in FIG. 15. Moreover, the close nesting of the two vertical pedestals 174, 180 enhances the ability to minimize the proximal displacement of the localization fixture 16 when used within the close confines of a closed MRI magnetic bore 24. It will be further appreciated that the second vertical slide 181 includes a shaped area that engages the underside of the handle 36 in such a way as to correctly align the handle 36 at the same X-axis horizontal dimension as the probe assembly 38.

[0074] FIGS. 17-18 depict a third version of the mounting device 150 wherein the slide 166 and pedestal 152 are replaced with a scissors table assembly 182 that includes a first slide 184 for horizontal movement on the slide plate 128. A depth slide 186 is nested within a top channel 188 of the first slide 182. With particular reference to FIG. 18, a pair of scissors braces 190 are extended when drawn together with a screw 192, thereby elevating the depth slide 186 with respect to the first slide 184. It will be appreciated that the third version of the mounting device 150 advantageously provides a level support for both the detachable probe assembly 38 as well as the biopsy handle 36 without having to perform two vertical adjustments. This version also allows a single means to attach the probe to the pedestal, as well as not having to perform two separate attachments for each of the handle 36 and probe assembly 38.

[0075]FIG. 19 depicts a sequence of operations, or method 200, for performing an MRI-guided breast core biopsy that accurately and quickly performs a core biopsy even in a closed MRI. Moreover, the method takes full advantage of the stereotopic location information rendered from the MRI scan to position an MRI compatible core biopsy probe without the necessity of continuous imaging of the distal tip of the biopsy probe.

[0076] Prior to performing a clinical breast biopsy, the equipment is initialized to ensure proper function. Thus, in block 202, the probe that comprises a needle, thumb wheel and housing is assembled with the handle. The assembled biopsy tool is connected via a power cord to a control module and the system is powered up, initiating power up logic in the control module (block 204). Parameters for rotation speed and translation distances are loaded. If the control module determines that the system has not been powered up recently, such as 60 minutes, then initialization logic is performed. Thus, translational drivetrain initialization is performed (block 206); rotational drivetrain initialization is performed (block 208); and vacuum system initialization is performed (block 210). If initialization is not required, then blocks 206-210 are bypassed.

[0077] Then, the patient's breast is immobilized in the localization mechanism (block 212) and the patient is moved into the MRI magnet bore (block 214). An MRI scan is performed to stereotopically locate suspicious tissue with reference to a movable fiduciary marker on the localization mechanism (block 216). For a closed MRI magnet bore, the patient is then removed (block 218), which is not necessary for an open bore. Anesthesia is administered prior to the minimally invasive vacuum assisted core biopsy procedure (block 220). Using the X-Y-Z positioning capabilities of the localization mechanism, the positioning guides on the localization mechanism are positioned for insertion to the predetermined biopsy site (block 222).

[0078] Optionally, insertion may be enhanced by use of an insertion tool installed through the probe assembly 38 (block 224). For instance, an ultrasonic cutting tip, extender, and outer tube assembly may be inserted through the probe assembly 38 through a slot in the needle tip 62, or exiting from the sample port 60 to be snapped onto the needle tip 62. This could be accomplished with a housing on the ultrasonic device that is configured to snap onto the needle 58, similarly to how a trocar obturator snaps onto the trocar cannula. Then, the ultrasonic tip is energized prior to insertion into the patient.

[0079] The probe assembly is mounted on the localization mechanism (block 226) at the designated X-Z coordinate and with the mounting device withdrawn along the depth axis. The cutter lumen is sealed with an obturator stylet (block 228), if not otherwise sealed by a tool in block 224. The vacuum lumen may be similarly sealed (e.g. stopcock attached to vacuum lumen access conduit 50) or be used to aspirate fluid and tissue during insertion. Then the probe is advanced along the Y-axis, guided by the localization mechanism to avoid misalignment (block 230). Once in place, if an insertion enhancement tool was installed in block 224, then this tool is withdrawn through the cutter lumen of the probe assembly (block 232).

[0080] With the probe in place, various fluid transfers may advantageously take place through the probe assembly (block 234). For example, vacuum may be applied through the vacuum lumen with the sample port exposed to drain any hematoma or air bubble formed at the biopsy site. Treatment fluids may be inserted directly to the biopsy site, such as anesthesia or MRI contrast agent. If the patient is to be scanned in a closed magnet bore, then the patient is moved back into the bore for scanning (block 236). In addition, vacuum may optionally be applied to the biopsy site to draw in suspicious tissue into the bowl of the sample port for confirmation prior to cutting the sample (block 238). Then, the MRI scan is performed to confirm placement of tissue in the bowl of the probe assembly, and adjustment of the probe assembly placement and re-scans are performed as required (block 240).

[0081] Sample mode is selected through the control module to perform the sequence of steps to translate and rotate the cutter according to predetermined settings, with vacuum assist to draw in the sample and to retract the sample along with the cutter to the sample window (block 244). If more samples at this biopsy site are required for diagnostic or for treatment purposes (block 246), then the thumb wheel is rotated to reorient the sample port to another angle (block 248), and sample mode is performed again by returning to block 244.

[0082] After the core biopsy is performed, the probe assembly provides an excellent opportunity for other minimally invasive diagnostic procedures and treatments without the necessity for another insertion. If the biopsy handle is installed, such as in an open MRI magnet bore, the handle is removed so that the detachable probe assembly may be accessed (block 250). Examples of tools that may be inserted through the probe assembly include: (1) gamma detectors; (2) energized tunneling tips to reduce tunneling forces; (3) inserts to aid in reconstruction of removed tissue (e.g., one or two sided shaver inserts); (4) spectroscopy imaging devices; (5) general tissue characterization sensors {e.g., (a) mammography; (b) ultrasound, sonography, contrast agents, power Doppler; (c) PET and FDG ([Flourine-18]-2-deoxy-2-fluoro-glucose); (d) MRI or NMR, breast coil; (e) mechanical impedance or elastic modulus; (f) electrical impedance; (g) optical spectroscopy, raman spectroscopy, phase, polarization, wavelength/frequency, reflectance; (h) laser-induced fluorescence or auto-fluorescence; (i) radiation emission/detection, radioactive seed implantation; (j) flow cytometry; (k) genomics, PCR (polymerase chain reaction)-brca1, brca2; (l) proteomics, protein pathway}; (6) tissue marker sensing device; (7) inserts or devices for MRI enhancement; (8) biochips on-a-stick; (9) endoscope; (10) diagnostic pharmaceutical agents delivery devices; (11) therapeutic anti-cancer pharmaceutical agents delivery devices; (12) radiation therapy delivery devices, radiation seeds; (13) anti-seeding agents for therapeutic biopsies to block the release of growth factors and/or cytokines (e.g., chlorpheniramine (CPA) is a protein that has been found to reduce proliferation of seeded cancer sells by 75% in cell cultures.); (14) fluorescent tagged antibodies, and a couple fiber optics to stimulate fluorescence from a laser source and to detect fluorescence signals for detecting remaining cancer cells; (15) positive pressure source to supply fluid to the cavity to aid with ultrasound visualization or to inflate the cavity to under the shape or to reduce bleeding; (16) biological tagging delivery devices (e.g., (a) functional imaging of cellular proliferation, neovacularity, mitochondrial density, glucose metabolism; (b) immunohistochemistry of estrogen receptor, her2neu; (c) genomics, PCR (polymerase chain reaction)-brca1, brca2; (d) proteomics, protein pathway); and (17) marking clips.

[0083] Then, a tissue marker is inserted through the probe assembly so that subsequent ultrasonic, X-ray, or MRI scans will identify the location of the previous biopsy (block 252) and the probe is removed (block 254).

[0084] FIGS. 20-21 depict a tip protector 260 that advantageously protects the needle tip 62 of the probe assembly 38 prior to insertion into tissue and simplifies localization of the probe assembly 38 in some instances. Furthermore, the tip protector 260 does not interfere with pre-clinical setup procedures (e.g., testing for vacuum leaks). In particular, the tip protector 260 includes an attachment member 262 with clips onto the needle 58 without obstructing the sample port 60. A distal portion of the tip protector completely encompasses the needle tip 62 with a protection member, depicted as a hemispheric disk 264, that may be placed in contact with a patient's breast without discomfort. In addition, in some applications the hemispheric disk 264 may be comprised of or include an MRI artifact producing material, such as those described above. Since the hemispheric disk 264 is MRI scanned outside of the patient's breast, a stronger artifact may be presented to aid in quickly locating the artifact without obscuring the suspected lesion.

[0085] With a novel fiducial marker integrated into the tip protector 260, there is potentially one less step in the localization process for operators that prefer to position fiducial marker at the closest insertion point to a suspected lesion prior to insertion. Procedurally, with the tip protector 260 in place, the operator would attach the probe assembly 38 onto the pedestal 152 and move the probe assembly 38 up against the breast tissue in the vicinity of where they believe the suspicious tissue to be, based on an earlier diagnostic image. Next, when the distance from this fiducial marker to the lesion is calculated, the “delta” distances are based on where the probe is currently positioned. There is a fixed offset along the Y axis to account for the distance from the fiducial to the middle of the bowl. The attachment member 262 accurately locates the hemispheric disk 264 so that this Y-axis offset is predictable. This would be more intuitive because the delta positions are from where the probe is currently located.

[0086] While the present invention has been illustrated by description of several embodiments and while the illustrative embodiments have been described in considerable detail, it is not the intention of the applicant to restrict or in any way limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications may readily appear to those skilled in the art. For example, although the detachable probe assembly provided numerous benefits, it will be appreciated aspects of the present invention may be directed to a single piece biopsy tool. For example, access to the cutter lumen for diagnostic and therapeutic tools may be incorporated through the cutter or similar openings.

[0087] For another example, although a localization mechanism 16 is depicted that laterally compresses a downward hanging patient's breast, aspects of the present invention are applicable to other orientations of localization and imaging.

[0088] As an additional example, although MRI is discussed herein as the imaging modality for stereotopically guiding the core biopsy, aspects of the present invention apply to other imaging modalities.

[0089] As yet a further example, although a Cartesian X-Y-Z positioning approach is disclosed herein, it will be appreciated that a polar or spherical positioning approach may be implemented in whole or in part so that the detachable probe assembly enters at a predefined angle.

[0090] As yet an additional example, although a prone breast compression device is depicted, application of the present invention may be used in medical compression devices oriented in other manners, to include standing, lying on one side, or supine. In addition, aspects of the present invention may be applicable to positioning a biopsy probe through a medial compression plate, or a top and bottom compression plate pair, instead of a lateral compression plate. Furthermore, aspects of the present invention are applicable to other diagnostic imaging modalities currently used or that become available in the future. In addition, aspects of the present invention would have application to diagnostic guided biopsy procedures on other portions of the body, as well as to positioning a probe for utilizing other diagnostic and treatment devices in a minimally invasive manner.

[0091] As yet a further example, an elongate needle may be formed without a structural, longitudinal barrier between the vacuum chamber lumen and the cutter lumen. Instead, the advancing cutter 90 may define a cutter lumen having a circular cross section within a noncircular cross section (e.g., oval) of the internal cavity of the elongate needle. Moreover, a noncircular liner may be used to prevent adhesive entering the undifferentiated internal cavity.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification600/411
International ClassificationA61B5/06, A61B10/02, A61B17/00, A61B17/34, A61B10/00, A61B5/055, G01R33/28, A61B19/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61B2017/0046, A61B2010/0208, A61B5/0555, A61B17/3403, A61B2017/347, A61B10/0275, A61B2017/00911, A61B2019/5236, A61B10/0283
European ClassificationA61B17/34D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 13, 2010ASAssignment
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:DEVICOR MEDICAL PRODUCTS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:24672/88
Owner name: GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION, AS AGENT,MAR
Effective date: 20100709
Owner name: GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION, AS AGENT, MA
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:DEVICOR MEDICAL PRODUCTS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:024672/0088
Jul 9, 2010ASAssignment
Effective date: 20100709
Owner name: DEVICOR MEDICAL PRODUCTS, INC.,WISCONSIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ETHICON ENDO-SURGERY, INC.;REEL/FRAME:24656/606
Owner name: DEVICOR MEDICAL PRODUCTS, INC., WISCONSIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ETHICON ENDO-SURGERY, INC.;REEL/FRAME:024656/0606
Jun 12, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: ETHICON ENDO-SURGERY, OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HIBNER, JOHN ANTHONY;ALBRECHT, THOMAS EDWARD;SCHWEMBERGER, RICHARD F.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:013002/0064
Effective date: 20020605