When should CT scan–guided cutting-needle pleural biopsy (CT-CNPB) be considered in the workup of pleural effusion (fluid on the lungs)?

Updated: Dec 28, 2018
  • Author: Kamran Boka, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

A randomized comparison of medical thoracoscopy with CT scan–guided cutting-needle pleural biopsy (CT-CNPB), found no statistically significant difference in diagnostic sensitivity between these two approaches. The study included 124 patients with exudative pleural effusion who could not be diagnosed by cytologic analysis. These researchers recommended using CT-ANPB as the primary diagnostic procedure in patients with pleural thickening or lesions observed on CT scans, and using medical thoracoscopy in patients whose CT scans demonstrate only pleural fluid, as well as in those who may have benign pleural pathologies other than TB. [41]


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