Open lung biopsy in immunocompromised patients

Chest. 1984 Nov;86(5):671-4. doi: 10.1378/chest.86.5.671.


Increased use of open lung biopsy in the search for a treatable etiology of acute interstitial pneumonitis (AIP) in immunocompromised patients is based on the assumption that examination and cultures from biopsy specimens will yield significant information leading to beneficial treatment of the condition. To assess the true impact of the results of open lung biopsy on the subsequent treatment and outcome in such patients, a retrospective study was done of 64 consecutive patients undergoing the procedure in a recent five-year period. When open lung biopsy was performed for the diagnosis of AIP in immunocompromised patients after empiric broad spectrum treatment failed, it rarely missed a specific, treatable etiology, if present. However, the results from open lung biopsy infrequently lead to a change in the treatment that improves the patient's clinical course.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy / methods
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Lung Diseases / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / drug therapy
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / etiology
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / pathology