Medical Definition of Brain biopsy

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/21/2018

Brain biopsy: Biopsy of the brain. Removal of a small piece of tissue from the brain for diagnostic purposes.

One way the procedure may be done is by stereotactic needle biopsy in which the spot to be biopsied is located three-dimensionally, the information is entered into a computer, and the computer calculates the information and positions a needle to remove the biopsy sample.

A brain biosy may be done in search of evidence for or against a brain tumor, Alzheimer disease, an inflammatory process in the brain, and so. A brain biopsy can be a invaluable source of diagnostic information but it is not without risks.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018