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Pleural needle biopsy
Alternative namesClosed pleural biopsy; Needle biopsy of the pleura
DefinitionThe pleura is a thin membrane that lines the lungs and the inside of the chest wall. A pleural biopsy involves taking a sample of the pleural tissue to be examined under a microscope. The pleural needle biopsy is done under a local anesthetic.
How the test is performed
This test does not have to be done in the hospital. You will be sitting up for the biopsy . The skin at the biopsy site will be cleansed, and a local anesthetic will be injected into the skin and into the pleural membrane.
A larger, hollow needle is then inserted through the skin and into the chest cavity. The needle is rotated and, as it is taken out, tissue samples are collected. In general, three biopsy samples are taken. The site is then bandaged.
At various times during the procedure, you will be asked to sing, hum, or say "eee." This helps prevent air from getting into the chest cavity, causing pneumothorax (lung collapse).
How to prepare for the testBlood tests will be done before the biopsy, and a chest x-ray may also be taken. You must sign consent forms.
Infants and children:
The preparation you can provide for this test depends on your child's age, previous experiences, and level of trust. For general information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following topics:
How the test will feelWith the injection of the local anesthetic, there may be a brief prick and a burning sensation. When the biopsy needle is inserted, you may feel pressure. As the needle is being withdrawn, you may feel a tugging sensation.
Why the test is performedPleural biopsy is usually done to determine the cause of a persistent pleural effusion (collection of fluid around the lung) or other abnormality of the pleural membrane. Diseases that may be diagnosed by pleural biopsy include tuberculosis and cancer.
Normal ValuesThe pleural tissues appear normal, without evidence of inflammation, infection, or malignancy.
What abnormal results meanThe abnormal results may reveal cancer, tuberculosis, a viral disease, a fungal disease, a parasitic disease, or collagen vascular disease .
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed include:
What the risks areThere is a slight chance of the needle puncturing the wall of the lung, which can produce a partial collapse of the lung. This usually resolves on its own. There is a chance of excessive blood loss.
If a closed pleural biopsy is unsuccessful at making a diagnosis, surgical biopsy of the pleura may be required in some cases.
Update Date: 1/27/2004Allen J. Blaivas, D.O., Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, University Hospital, Newark, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT