Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of simple aspiration of air from the pleural space to prevent increased pneumothorax and to avoid chest tube placement in cases of pneumothorax following CT-guided lung biopsy.
Materials and methods: One hundred thirty-four consecutive percutaneous needle lung biopsies using real-time CT fluoroscopy guidance formed the basis of our study. All patients that demonstrated moderate or severe pneumothorax on postbiopsy chest CT images underwent percutaneous manual aspiration regardless of symptoms while on the CT scanner table. Correlation between the incidence of pneumothorax after biopsy and many factors (ie, gender, age, number of pleural passes, presence of emphysema, lesion size, and lesion depth) were determined, and management of each case of biopsy-induced pneumothorax was reviewed.
Results: Postbiopsy pneumothorax occurred in 46 of 134 procedures (34.3%). Twenty of the 46 patients were treated by manual aspiration, while 26 patients were simply observed. In 43 of the 46 pneumothoraces (93.5%), the pneumothorax resolved completely on follow-up chest radiographs without requiring tube placement. Only three patients (2.2% of the entire series; 6.5% of those who had pneumothorax develop) required chest tube placement. The risk of pneumothorax significantly increased with lesion size and depth.
Conclusion: Results of our nonprospective, nonrandomized study suggest that percutaneous manual aspiration of biopsy-induced pneumothorax performed immediately after biopsy may prevent progressive pneumothorax and subsequent chest tube placement.