Is there a role for a needle thoracoscopic pleural biopsy under local anesthesia for pleural effusions?

Ho Sung Son, Sung Ho Lee, Laleng Mawia Darlong, Jae Seong Jung, Kyung Sun, Kwang Taik Kim, Hee Jung Kim, Kanghoon Lee, Seung Hun Lee, Jong Tae Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: A closed pleural biopsy is commonly performed for diagnosing patients exhibiting pleural effusion if prior thoracentesis is not diagnostic. However, the diagnostic yield of such biopsies is unsatisfactory. Instead, a thoracoscopic pleural biopsy is more useful and less painful. Methods: We compared the diagnostic yield of needle thoracoscopic pleural biopsy performed under local anesthesia with that of closed pleural biopsy. Sixty-seven patients with pleural effusion were randomized into groups A and B. Group A patients were subjected to closed pleural biopsies, and group B patients were subjected to pleural biopsies performed using needle thoracoscopy under local anesthesia. Results: The diagnostic yields and complication rates of the two groups were compared. The diagnostic yield was 55.6% in group A and 93.5% in group B (p≤0.05). Procedure-related complications developed in seven group A patients but not in any group B patients. Of the seven complications, five were pneumothorax and two were vasovagal syncope. Conclusion: Needle thoracoscopic pleural biopsy under local anesthesia is a simple and safe procedure that has a high diagnostic yield. This procedure is recommended as a useful diagnostic modality if prior thoracentesis is non-diagnostic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-128
Number of pages5
JournalKorean Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Biopsy
  • Pleural disease
  • Pleural effusion
  • Tumor malignant
  • Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Is there a role for a needle thoracoscopic pleural biopsy under local anesthesia for pleural effusions?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this