Cutting needle biopsy in the diagnosis of clinically suspected non-carcinomatous disease of the lung.
Bungay HK., Adams RF., Morris CM., Haggett PJ., Traill ZC., Gleeson FV.
Most patients referred for lung biopsy have a focal lesion that is likely to be a carcinoma, and fine needle aspiration is usually sufficient to confirm the diagnosis. When non-carcinomatous disease is suspected, tissue architecture is important and potential diagnostic techniques include percutaneous cutting needle biopsy (CNB). We retrospectively reviewed 37 CNBs performed for clinically suspected non-carcinomatous disease; recording the biopsy result, final diagnosis, radiological nature of the pulmonary abnormality, distance from the pleura of the lesion biopsied and biopsy complications. 9 patients had a single pulmonary nodule/mass; 13 had multiple nodules/masses; 8 had a lobar consolidation/mass; and 7 had multifocal consolidation. The lesion abutted the pleura in 31 cases, lying within 1 cm in the other 6 cases. The minor complication rate was 14%, with no major complications. Specific malignant diagnoses were made in 9 patients, and specific benign in 23, in all of whom clinicoradiological follow-up was concordant. CNB did not yield a specific diagnosis in five patients, including two lymphomas and one case of unsuspected tuberculosis in which the sample was not cultured. The overall accuracy of CNB was 32/37 (86%). CNB is a safe and accurate means of achieving a tissue diagnosis for patients with peripheral pulmonary parenchymal disease thought not to represent carcinoma.