Needle Biopsy of the Lung and Pleura

A needle biopsy of the lung or pleura is done to remove a sample of lung or pleural tissue, or fluid. Pleura is the lining of the lungs and chest wall. Once the tissue is removed, it will be examined in a lab. Female Torso with Respiratory System and Ribcage (Anterior View)Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
    • Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
    • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
    • Coughing up blood
    • Pain when taking a deep breath
    • You feel your heart rate is fast

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    A needle biopsy of the lung or pleura is done to remove a sample of lung or pleural tissue, or fluid. Pleura is the lining of the lungs and chest wall. Once the tissue is removed, it will be examined in a lab.

    Female Torso with Respiratory System and Ribcage (Anterior View)
    BN00002 97870 1 labeled
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    This procedure is used to diagnose abnormal tissue in or around the lung. Possible reasons for abnormal tissue are:

    • Noncancerous tumors
    • Cancer
    • Lung tissue scarring
    • Pneumonia

    • Other infections (eg,
      tuberculosis
      or histoplasmosis)
    • Abnormal blood vessels in the lung

    • As a consequence of certain systemic diseases (eg,
      rheumatoid arthritis,
      sarcoidosis, or
      Wegener’s granulomatosis)

  • Possible Complications

    Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a needle biopsy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

    • Collapsed lung
    • Bleeding
    • Infection
    • Damage to the liver or spleen

    Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

    • Smoking
    • Obesity

    Make sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant.