US-guided transthoracic biopsy of peripheral lung lesions: pleural contact length influences diagnostic yield

Acta Radiol. 2014 Apr;55(3):295-301. doi: 10.1177/0284185113494984. Epub 2013 Aug 1.


Background: Transthoracic biopsy of peripheral lung lesions under ultrasonography (US) guidance is a useful diagnostic technique. However, factors affecting diagnostic yield of US-guided transthoracic biopsy of peripheral lung lesions are not well established.

Purpose: To determine the factors that influence diagnostic yield of US-guided transthoracic biopsy in peripheral lung lesions.

Material and methods: A total of 100 consecutive patients underwent US-guided percutaneous cutting biopsy of peripheral lung lesions from October 2007 to March 2009. After seven unconfirmed cases were excluded, 97 procedures in 93 consecutive patients were included in this study. The accuracy of the lung biopsies was assessed by comparing the biopsy results with the final diagnoses. We divided the cases into a correct group (true-positive and true-negative) and an incorrect group (false-positive, false-negative, and non-diagnostic results) and analyzed the differences in the lesions, procedures, and patient variables between the two groups.

Results: According to the final diagnoses, 56 cases (57.7%) were malignant and 41 cases (42.3%) were benign. An overall diagnostic accuracy of 91.8% was obtained. The median size of the lesions was 46.0 mm (interquartile range [IQR], 30.0-69.5 mm), and the median lesion-pleura contact arc length (LPCAL) was 31.0 mm (IQR, 18.0-51.0 mm). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that only LPCAL (odds ratio, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.04-1.30) was a significant predictor of a correct diagnosis. When we divided the lesions into those with LPCAL values >30 mm and LPCAL values ≤30 mm, the sensitivity (96.6% vs. 74.1%; P = 0.02) and the accuracy (98% vs. 85.4%; P = 0.03) were significantly higher in the group with larger LPCAL.

Conclusion: In US-guided transthoracic biopsy of peripheral lung lesions, the LPCAL of the lesions is an important factor for a correct diagnosis.

Keywords: Ultrasound; diagnostic yield; lung; lung biopsy; transthoracic biopsy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy, Needle / methods*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Diseases / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional*