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Utility of Wang Needle Aspiration in the Diagnosis of Actinomycosis*

Iram Bakhtawar, MBBS; Robert F. Schaefer, MD; Nagesh Salian, MD, FCCP
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*From the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (Drs. Bakhtawar and Salian), Department of Medicine; and Department of Pathology (Dr. Schaefer), University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR.

Correspondence to: Iram Bakhtawar, MBBS, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 W. Markham, Slot 555, Little Rock, AR 72205; e-mail: Bakhtawariram@UAMS.edu



Chest. 2001;119(6):1966-1968. doi:10.1378/chest.119.6.1966
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An 85-year-old man had a 4-year history of recurrent pneumonia with a persistent pleural effusion. He underwent repeated bronchoscopy that revealed a right bronchus intermedius mass, but bronchial washes and biopsies remained nondiagnostic. A repeat bronchoscopy was performed, and a Wang needle aspiration of the mass was obtained that showed sulfur granules, diagnosing actinomycosis. The patient was started on appropriate antibiotic therapy. Actinomycosis must be considered in a patient with recurrent pneumonia and an endobronchial mass. Wang needle aspiration via bronchoscopy may be an important diagnostic tool.

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