What is the role of a medical thoracoscopy (pleuroscopy) in the workup of malignant mesothelioma?

Updated: Jul 08, 2021
  • Author: Shannon E Burke, DO; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Answer

The yield of cytology for malignant mesothelioma is even lower than most malignant effusions, as low as 41% in one study. [11]  It can be difficult to reach a definitive diagnosis without complete visualization of the pleural space. Medical thoracoscopy is favored over thoracotomy for two reasons. First, the pleural specimen obtained with the minimally invasive 5-mm forceps is comparable to the specimen achieved with open biopsies. Second, the site-directed nature of pleural biopsies through the semirigid pleuroscope allows for a minimally invasive approach.


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