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Fallibility of transthoracic needle biopsy of anterior mediastinal masses.
  1. L A Robinson,
  2. J R Dobson,
  3. P J Bierman
  1. Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, University of South Florida, Tampa, USA.


    Percutaneous transthoracic core needle biopsy has been advocated as a highly accurate technique for the diagnosis of anterior mediastinal masses. A patient is described with a large anterior mediastinal mass in whom the diagnosis of mediastinal carcinoid tumour was made by transthoracic core needle biopsy. At definitive surgical resection the tumour proved to be a B cell lymphoma. This case illustrates one of the important limitations of needle biopsy with its potential for sampling error.

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