Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Trephine biopsy of the lung and pleura
  1. S. J. Steel,
  2. D. P. Winstanley
  1. London Chest Hospital, London, E.2


    During the last five years 140 biopsies of the lung or pleura have been performed with a high-speed air-drill. A specially designed trephine, 2·1 mm. in bore, proved effective in obtaining adequate specimens from patients with diffuse lung lesions. With this method 111 out of 119 (93%) consecutive lung biopsies were successful in producing specimens of lung tissue for histological examination and 101 (85%) of these biopsies were diagnostically significant. Conditions such as sarcoidosis, berylliosis, alveolar proteinosis, polyarteritis nodosa, asbestosis, and diffuse interstitial pulmonary fibrosis were conclusively diagnosed. Complications were not serious and the commonest, pneumothorax, which occurred in 26% of the lung biopsies, was usually asymptomatic. The procedure is rapid and painless and breath-holding is unnecessary. It is performed under local anaesthesia and can be repeated, if required, thus having many advantages over biopsy by open thoracotomy. However, full thoracic surgical cover should be available. Indications include diffuse and localized lesions of the lung or pleura where a definitive diagnosis is required for the purpose of treatment, prognosis, or a claim for industrial compensation.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.