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Acad Radiol. 2008 Aug;15(8):1017-26. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2008.02.018.

Computed tomography-navigated transthoracic core biopsy of pulmonary lesions: which factors affect diagnostic yield and complication rates?

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Institute of Diagnostic Radiology, Interventional Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Berufsgenossenschaftliches Universitaetsklinikum Bergmannsheil GmbH, Ruhr-University of Bochum, Buerkle-de-la-Camp Platz 1, D-44789 Bochum, Germany.



Only a few studies have systematically evaluated risk factors for pneumothorax and pulmonary hemorrhage in computed tomographically (CT)-guided transthoracic lung biopsy (TLB). We evaluated the diagnostic yield of CT-guided TLB and determined risk factors for pneumothorax and hemorrhage.


One hundred seventy-two CT-guided TLBs were performed on 159 patients (mean age 66 +/- 11 years; 72% male) using a 16-gauge core biopsy needle. Lesion and patient characteristics, lung function analysis, CT signs of emphysema, histopathologic diagnoses, and complications were recorded. Statistical analysis was performed with multivariate regression analysis.


Histopathologic diagnosis was established in 153 cases (89%). Although lesion size was higher (47 +/- 29 vs. 43 +/- 35 mm, P = .191) and depth was lower (22 +/- 23 vs. 6 +/- 23 mm, P = .350) in procedures with histopathologic diagnosis, no parameter showed significant impact on diagnostic yield. Sensitivity and specificity for detection of malignancy were 93% and 100%, respectively, whereas positive and negative predictive values were 100% and 88%. Overall accuracy was 95%. Pneumothorax occurred in 45 procedures (26%). Hemorrhage was recorded in 17 procedures (10%). There was higher frequency of pneumothorax in smaller lesions (35 +/- 23 vs. 50 +/- 31 mm, P = .003; odds ratio = .96) and greater depth (29 +/- 29 vs. 20 +/- 19 mm, P = .05; odds ratio = 1.03). CT signs of emphysema revealed higher incidence of hemorrhage (35% vs. 23%; P = .04; odds ratio=41.03). Other parameters were nonsignificant.


The high diagnostic yield of CT-guided TLB was not affected by lesion characteristics or emphysema. Pneumothorax rate was influenced by lesion size and depth. Hemorrhage was associated with CT signs of emphysema.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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