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Needle Biopsy of the Pleura or Lung

By

Rebecca Dezube

, MD, MHS, Johns Hopkins University

Last full review/revision May 2021
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION

A needle biopsy is a procedure in which a biopsy needle is inserted into the lung or through the membrane surrounding the lung (pleura) and is used to remove a piece of tissue for examination.

A needle biopsy of the lung may be done if a tissue specimen needs to be obtained from a lung tumor. After anesthetizing the skin, a doctor, often using chest computed tomography Chest Imaging Chest imaging studies include X-rays Computed tomography (CT) CT angiography Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) read more (CT) or ultrasonography Chest Imaging Chest imaging studies include X-rays Computed tomography (CT) CT angiography Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) read more for guidance, directs a biopsy needle into a tumor and obtains cells or a small piece of tissue to be sent to the laboratory for analysis. If a lung infection is suspected, tissue can also be sent for culture (a procedure in which a tissue sample is placed in a container containing nutrients and the container is observed to detect bacterial growth).

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Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is cancer that starts in the lungs. It is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. Which of the following is the most common cause of lung cancer?
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