Role of Manual Aspiration in Treating Pneumothorax after Computed Tomography-Guided Lung Biopsy

Yamagami, T.; Terayama, K.; Yoshimatsu, R.; Matsumoto, T.; Miura, H.; Nishimura, T.
December 2009
Acta Radiologica;Dec2009, Vol. 50 Issue 10, p1126
Academic Journal
Background: Pneumothorax is the most common complication after computed tomography (CT)-guided lung biopsy. The presence of a pneumothorax per se does not complicate patient management, but an increasing pneumothorax, making chest tube placement necessary, is highly problematic. Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and limitations of simple aspiration of air from the pleural space to prevent increased pneumothorax and avoid chest tube placement in cases of pneumothorax following CT-guided lung biopsy. Material and Methods: The subjects of our study were 642 consecutive lung lesions in 594 patients for which percutaneous needle lung biopsies were performed using CT guidance. While patients were on the CT scanner table, percutaneous manual aspiration was performed in all patients with a non-small pneumothorax demonstrated on post-biopsy chest CT images. The frequency of pneumothorax, management of each such case, and factors influencing the incidence of worsening pneumothorax that finally required chest tube placement were evaluated. Results: Post-biopsy pneumothorax occurred in 243 of 642 (38%) procedures. Of the 243 cases, 112 were treated with manual aspiration immediately after biopsy. In 210 (86.4%), the pneumothorax had resolved completely on follow-up chest radiographs without chest tube placement. Only 33 patients required chest tube placement. Requirement of chest tube insertion significantly increased in parallel with the degree of pneumothorax as shown on post-biopsy CT images. The rate of chest tube insertion was statistically higher in subjects with values for aspirated air above 543 ml. Conclusion: Percutaneous manual aspiration of biopsy-induced pneumothorax performed immediately after biopsy may prevent worsening of pneumothorax and avoid chest tube placement. The amount of aspirated air can be predictive of the requirement for chest tube placement.


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