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August 7, 1967

Problems With Biopsy Needles

JAMA. 1967;201(6):492-493. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130060166033

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To the Editor:—  The authors of "Pleural Biopsy" (200:317, 1967) correctly identify fragility as a major disadvantage of current, machine-made Cope needles. Because of frequent malfunction of the Cope needles now being produced, comparisons of this instrument to its most obvious present alternative, the Abrams needle, must be precise.The Abrams needle, contrary to the authors' contention, need not be removed with each biopsy specimen. Multiple specimens may be obtained with each insertion of the Abrams needle. This is done by aspirating each specimen into an attached syringe. To achieve this, the Abrams needle is reintroduced into the pleural cavity after the tissue entrapped by the hook has been severed. The cannula is partially opened and pleural fluid is drawn into the syringe, flushing the specimen with it. The cannula is then opened fully and another specimen taken from another quadrant. I regularly obtain four or five specimens with