Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Westcott and Franseen Biopsy Needles

Fine needle aspiration biopsies are most commonly performed with Chiba, Franseen, and Westcott needles.

The Chiba needles come in sizes between 25-G and 18-G. These needles have beveled tips on both the stylet (pink) and outer cannula (blue). We typically use the 18-G Chiba needles for obtaining access to the lesion, and perform the fine needle aspiration with 22-G Franseen or Westcott needles.

The Franseen needle has multibeveled cutting edges on both the inner stylet (pink) and outer cannula (blue). The Franseen needles come in sizes between 22 G to 14 G.

The Westcott needle has a beveled tip and a notched outer cannula (blue). The side notch creates a second cutting edge and allows for aspiration of more material; however, the volume is often limited by the smaller sizes these needles come in (see below). The side notch is 2 mm in length and begins approximately 3 mm from the tip of the needle. The Westcott needles come in sizes between 22 G to 20 G.

Note: The images are highly stylized and may not be 100% accurate. You can use an image search to see manufacturers' versions of these needles (Chiba, Franseen, and Westcott)


Beall DP. Chapter 3: Common Procedures. in Radiology Sourcebook: A Practical Guide for Reference and Training. Humana Press (2002). Totowa, NJ. pp 17-18.


  1. What software did you use to draw and shade these pictures. They look excellent.

  2. jacox, Thanks for the comment. I used Adobe Illustrator to do the line drawings, and Photoshop for the coloring and shading.


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