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Chest. 1989 Aug;96(2):319-24.

Open lung biopsy in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and pulmonary infiltrates.

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Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, CA 94301.


Patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) are at increased risk for pulmonary infection with opportunistic pathogens associated with diminished cell mediated immunity. Open lung biopsy (OLB) frequently is recommended for diagnosis of pulmonary infiltrates in patients with NHL, but its usefulness for patient management and outcome has not been evaluated for patients with NHL. We reviewed the results of 20 consecutive OLB in 19 patients with previously diagnosed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at Stanford University Medical Center during a nine-year period. Fifteen patients had known active lymphoma at time of OLB, and no patient had granulocytopenia. Ten of the 20 OLBs yielded specific diagnoses. A greater proportion of patients with stage I or II disease had specific diagnoses than patients with more advanced NHL. Five of 14 patients considered to have had a life threatening illness at the time of OLB had specific diagnoses from OLB vs five of six patients considered clinically stable. Chest roentgenograms that had discrete masses or nodules correlated with ability to establish a specific diagnosis by OLB. For patients in whom the results of OLB were nonspecific, management appeared unaffected by the OLB. The OLB in NHL appeared most useful for detecting recurrent NHL in clinically stable patients with discrete nodules or masses on chest roentgenogram. Pneumocystis pneumonia was the only infection identified by OLB.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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