Ultrasound-guided core biopsy of thoracic tumors

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1992 Sep;146(3):763-7. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/146.3.763.


Two hundred and eighteen patients, with thoracic tumors larger than 3 cm in size, underwent ultrasound-guided percutaneous transthoracic core biopsy with a large-bore Tru-Cut needle. Fifty-five tumors were in the mediastinum, and 122 tumors were located at subpleural area, and 42 tumors were within the lungs. In 122 subpleural tumors, the sensitivity of ultrasound-guided core biopsy for the diagnosis of malignancy was 96.8%, and accuracy was 97.5%. Sensitivity for the diagnosis of malignant tumors located within the lungs was 94.6%, and accuracy was 95.2%. In 54 patients with mediastinal tumors, definite histologic diagnosis could be obtained in 48 patients (88.9%). The sensitivity of ultrasound-guided biopsy for the diagnosis of malignancy in these 48 mediastinal tumors was 97.1%, with an accuracy of 97.9%. Three patients had complications with minimal pneumothorax and one with mild hemoptysis. We conclude that percutaneous transthoracic core biopsy with Tru-Cut needle under ultrasound guidance is a safe and sensitive way to obtain specimens for accurate histologic diagnosis of thoracic tumors. The diagnostic yield is high, and the technique, relatively simple, can also be used for outpatients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy, Needle / adverse effects
  • Biopsy, Needle / instrumentation
  • Biopsy, Needle / methods*
  • Biopsy, Needle / statistics & numerical data
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • False Negative Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Male
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography, Interventional
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Thoracic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Thoracic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Thoracic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Thorax / diagnostic imaging
  • Thorax / pathology*
  • Ultrasonography