Impact of open lung biopsy for undiagnosed pulmonary infiltrates in patients with hematological malignancies

Am J Hematol. 2001 Oct;68(2):87-90. doi: 10.1002/ajh.1158.


Pulmonary complications are frequently encountered in patients with hematological malignancy. The optimal therapeutic decision including open lung biopsy (OLB) for such patients is uncertain. We herein examine the clinical impact of OLB on these patients. Seven patients with progressively diffuse pulmonary infiltrates despite aggressive medical treatment were examined. The underlying diseases, prior treatment for presumptive pneumonia, the change in therapeutic approach after operation, and clinical outcome were reviewed retrospectively. Diffuse pulmonary infiltrates were caused by infection in two patients and by noninfectious etiology such as alveolar proteinosis, idiopathic interstitial pneumonitis, leukemic involvement, and drug-induced alveolar damage in the others. Four patients who had serious underlying hematologic diseases such as myelodysplastic syndrome, acute and chronic myeloid leukemia, and T cell lymphoma died. Three patients with acute lymphoid leukemia survived. In two of these three, change of therapeutic strategies after OLB was created for the survival. OLB in patients with hematological malignancy may be useful in selected patients with a treatable hematologic disease who have treatable underlying causes of the pulmonary infiltrate.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biopsy / methods*
  • Cause of Death
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Humans
  • Lung / microbiology
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Lung Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Lung Diseases / drug therapy
  • Lung Diseases / etiology
  • Lung Diseases / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome