Breast - nonmalignant
Breast biopsy marking devices

Author: Hind Nassar, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 25 July 2017, last major update April 2010

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Breast biopsy marking devices

Cite this page: Breast biopsy marking devices. website. Accessed November 19th, 2017.
Definition / general
  • Devices mark the site of radiographic biopsies for future localization and resection
  • Are either pellets of resorbable polylactic acid / polyglycolic acid copolymers or plugs of bovine collagen; both contain metallic clips for longterm radiographic marking
  • Pellets are placed within biopsy cavity to fix clip in place and reduce clip migration away from biopsy site (AJR Am J Roentgenol 2003;181:1295)
  • Collagen plugs may also promote hemostasis
Clinical features
Radiology images

Images hosted on other servers:

Lost biopsy marking clips (arrows)

Clinical images

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Devices and radiographs (various images)

Gross description
  • Pellets resemble soft grains of rice
  • Collagen plugs are spongiform with variable hemorrhagic changes
Gross images

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Biopsy clips may be much smaller than standard surgical clips

Microscopic (histologic) description
    • Initially hypocellular fibrotic reaction around empty spaces (processing dissolves the polymer), then multinucleated giant cell reaction with eosinophilic material in marker core (Am J Surg Pathol 2005;29:814)

    Collagen plugs:
    • Eosinophilic, hyalinized and acellular material with lymphocytic and eosinophilic infiltrate that gradually penetrates into the core
    • No prominent multinucleated giant cell reaction
    • May resemble amyloidosis