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Needle Biopsy of the Lung and Pleura
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Needle Biopsy of the Lung and Pleura?

A needle biopsy of the lung or pleura is done to remove a sample of lung or pleural tissue or fluid. Pleura is the lining of the lungs and chest wall. Once the tissue is removed, it will be examined in a lab.

Female Torso with Respiratory System and Ribcage, Anterior View
Female Torso with Respiratory System and Ribcage, Anterior View
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

This procedure is used to diagnose abnormal tissue in or around the lung. Possible reasons for abnormal tissue are:

  • Noncancerous tumors
  • Cancer
  • Lung tissue scarring
  • Pneumonia
  • Other infections (eg, tuberculosis or histoplasmosis)
  • Abnormal blood vessels in the lung
  • As a consequence of certain systemic diseases (eg, rheumatoid arthritis , sarcoidosis , or Wegener’s granulomatosis )

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a needle biopsy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Collapsed lung
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Damage to the liver or spleen

Make sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

Call Your Doctor

After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
  • Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Pain when taking a deep breath
  • You feel your heart...