The results of 382 consecutive Tru-cut lung biopsies were reviewed to evaluate this investigation. The age of the patients ranged from 16 to 84 years (median 63 years); 284 patients suffered from focal and 98 from diffuse lung disease. Of the 206 patients with focal disease in whom the final diagnosis was a malignancy, 161 (78%) had a correct biopsy diagnosis. Of the 78 patients in whom the final diagnosis was non-malignant disease, 60 (77%) had a correct biopsy diagnosis. In diffuse pulmonary disease the histological diagnosis was correct in 75 of 98 patients (77%). In focal benign disease and in diffuse disease the reliability of the diagnosis increased with the specificity of the diagnosis. Where the biopsy diagnosis was not in accordance with the final diagnosis, histological examination usually showed normal lung tissue (with or without non-specific inflammation), necrotic tissue, or no tissue at all. Two patients died from the procedure. Minor complications occurred in 18%. It is concluded that the usefulness of Tru-cut biopsy is not confined to malignant focal disease; it is also reliable in benign focal disease and diffuse pulmonary disease when a specific diagnosis is obtained.
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