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Pleural biopsy

Principle

This examination involves blind removal of small pieces of pleura using a special needle (a Cope or Abrams needle) for diagnostic purposes. The puncture site varies depending on which area requires the puncture.

 

Technical details of examination:

 

Preparation

- Before the examination, the patient may be given an intramuscular injection of atropine to prevent malaise.
- Disinfection and local anaesthesia of skin and chest wall, using Xylocaine.
- The patient sits on an examination table throughout the examination.
A pleural drain is sometimes inserted after the procedure to empty the pleural cavity more thoroughly, ease breathing, or provide a channel for local treatment subsequently.

Duration

A few minutes to half an hour.

Inconveniences

Visual alterations (blurred vision) for 1-2 hours, caused by atropine. It is not advisable to drive a vehicle during this period.

Complications (rare)

- Pneumothorax (air in the pleural cavity) caused by accidental puncture of the lung or air entering through the needle.
- Haemothorax (blood in the cavity) following damage to an intercostal artery.

 

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Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc, Av Hippocrate, 10 - 1200 Bruxelles - Belgique | Tél: 02/764 11 11 | FAX: 02/764 37 03 | Where to find us?

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