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Lung biopsy in children: when is it useful?
  1. Corey David Chan1,
  2. Anindya Niyogi2,
  3. Bruce Jaffray2,
  4. Malcolm Brodlie3,4,
  5. Hany Gabra2
  1. 1 School of Medical Education, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, UK
  2. 2 Department of Paediatric Surgery, Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, UK
  3. 3 Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, UK
  4. 4 Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, UK
  1. Correspondence to Hany Gabra, Department of Paediatric Surgery, The Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, UK; hany.gabra{at}


Aim To provide a further insight into the usefulness of lung biopsy in children.

Methods Lung biopsies in children from January 2007 to December 2017 were reviewed (n=39). The histology results were categorised as: definitive diagnosis, normal lung parenchyma, inconclusive.

Results Lung biopsy provided a definitive diagnosis in 25 (64%) cases. A suspected diagnosis was confirmed in 16 (41%) and a new diagnosis was found in 9 (23%) children. Histology was inconclusive in 11 (28%) cases and normal in 3 (8%). Fifteen (38%) children had treatment altered due to the biopsy result.

Conclusion Lung biopsy mostly confirmed the suspected diagnosis and was associated with a low procedure related morbidity (n=1) and mortality (n=0). Importantly, the biopsy result identified a pathology which altered treatment in over one third of patients. However, in a number of cases the histology was inconclusive, therefore careful patient selection is recommended to maximise diagnostic yield.

  • lung biopsy
  • thoracoscopic
  • paediatric
  • paediatric surgery

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  • Correction notice This paper has been amended since it was published online. The second author's surname was spelt wrongly.

  • Funding MB was supported by a Medical Research Council Clinician Scientist Fellowship (MR/M008797/1).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement No data are available.

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