Locations Main Campus: Chesterfield, MO 63017   |   Locations
314-434-1500 314-434-1500   |   Contact Us

Multimedia Encyclopedia


 
E-mail Form
Email Results

 
 
Print-Friendly
Bookmarks
bookmarks-menu

Lung needle biopsy

Transthoracic needle aspiration; Percutaneous needle aspiration

 

A lung needle biopsy is a method to remove a piece of lung tissue for examination. If it is done through the wall of your chest, it is called a transthoracic lung biopsy.

How the Test is Performed

 

The procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. The biopsy is done in the following way:

  • A chest x-ray or chest CT scan may be used to find the exact spot for the biopsy. If the biopsy is done using a CT scan, you may be lying down during the exam.
  • You may be given a sedative to relax you.
  • You sit with your arms resting forward on a table. Your skin where the biopsy needle is inserted is scrubbed.
  • A local painkilling medicine (anesthetic) is injected.
  • The doctor makes a small cut in your skin.
  • The biopsy needle is inserted into the abnormal tissue, tumor, or lung tissue. A small piece of tissue is removed with the needle.
  • The needle is removed. Pressure is placed on the site. Once bleeding has stopped, a bandage is applied.
  • A chest x-ray is taken right after the biopsy.
  • The biopsy sample is sent to the lab. Analysis usually takes a few days.

 

How to Prepare for the Test

 

You should not eat for 6 to 12 hours before the test. Follow instructions about not taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, or blood thinners such as warfarin for a period of time before the procedure. Check with your health care provider before changing or stopping any medicines.

Before a needle biopsy of the lung, a chest x-ray or chest CT scan may be performed.

 

How the Test will Feel

 

You will receive an injection of anesthetic before the biopsy. This injection will sting for a moment. You will feel pressure and a brief, sharp pain when the biopsy needle touches the lung.

 

Why the Test is Performed

 

A lung needle biopsy is done when there is an abnormal condition near the surface of the lung, in the lung itself, or on the chest wall. Most often, it is done to rule out cancer. The biopsy is usually done after abnormalities appear on a chest x-ray or CT scan.

 

Normal Results

 

In a normal test, the tissues are normal and there is no cancer or growth of bacteria, viruses, or fungi if a culture is performed.

 

What Abnormal Results Mean

 

An abnormal result may be due to any of the following:

  • Bacterial, viral, or fungal lung infection
  • Cancerous cells (lung cancer, mesothelioma)
  • Pneumonia

 

Risks

 

Sometimes, a collapsed lung (pneumothorax) occurs after this test. A chest x-ray will be done to check for this. The risk is higher if you have certain lung diseases such as emphysema. Usually, a collapsed lung after a biopsy does not need treatment. But if the pneumothorax is large or does not improve, a chest tube is inserted to expand your lung.

In rare cases, pneumothorax can be life threatening if air escapes from the lung, gets trapped in the chest, and presses on the rest of your lungs or heart.

Whenever a biopsy is done, there is a risk of too much bleeding (hemorrhage). Some bleeding is common, and a provider will monitor the amount of bleeding. In rare cases, major and life-threatening bleeding can occur.

A needle biopsy should not be performed if other tests show that you have:

  • Bleeding disorder of any type
  • Bullae (enlarged alveoli that occur with emphysema)
  • Cor pulmonale (condition that causes the right side of the heart to fail)
  • Cysts of the lung
  • High blood pressure in the lung arteries
  • Severe hypoxia (low oxygen)

 

Considerations

 

Signs of a collapsed lung include:

  • Blueness of the skin
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid heart rate (rapid pulse)
  • Shortness of breath

If any of these occur, call your provider right away.

 

 

References

Given MF, Corr A, Thomson KR, Lyon SM. Percutaneous biopsy of the lung, mediastinum, and pleura. In: Mauro MA, Murphy KPJ, Thomson KR, Venbrux AC, Morgan RA, eds. Image-Guided Interventions. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 152.

Klein JS, Bhave AD. Thoracic radiology: invasive diagnostic imaging and image-guided interventions. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 19.

 
  • Lung biopsy

    Lung biopsy - illustration

    A needle lung biopsy is performed when there is an abnormal condition that is near the surface of the lung, in the tissues surrounding the lungs, or on the chest wall. The test can be performed to obtain a sample for culture when infection of the lung is suspected, and sputum or bronchoalveolar lavage cultures have not identified the cause of the infection.

    Lung biopsy

    illustration

  • Lung tissue biopsy

    Lung tissue biopsy - illustration

    To obtain a sample of lung tissue for biopsy, a needle is inserted within the lung and a sample is withdrawn and sent to the laboratory. The laboratory test isolates and identifies organisms that cause infection from the lung specimen. A lung needle biopsy culture is performed when infection of the lung is suspected and sputum or bronchoalveolar lavage cultures have not identified the cause of the infection.

    Lung tissue biopsy

    illustration

    • Lung biopsy

      Lung biopsy - illustration

      A needle lung biopsy is performed when there is an abnormal condition that is near the surface of the lung, in the tissues surrounding the lungs, or on the chest wall. The test can be performed to obtain a sample for culture when infection of the lung is suspected, and sputum or bronchoalveolar lavage cultures have not identified the cause of the infection.

      Lung biopsy

      illustration

    • Lung tissue biopsy

      Lung tissue biopsy - illustration

      To obtain a sample of lung tissue for biopsy, a needle is inserted within the lung and a sample is withdrawn and sent to the laboratory. The laboratory test isolates and identifies organisms that cause infection from the lung specimen. A lung needle biopsy culture is performed when infection of the lung is suspected and sputum or bronchoalveolar lavage cultures have not identified the cause of the infection.

      Lung tissue biopsy

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

    Talking to your MD

     

      Self Care

       

        Tests for Lung needle biopsy

         

         

        Review Date: 8/21/2016

        Reviewed By: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, MHS, Paul F. Harron, Jr. Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

        The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
        adam.com

         
         
         

         

         

        A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.



        Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.