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September 1973

New Pulmonary Diagnostic Procedures: Are They Practical Alternatives to Open-Lung Biopsy?

Author Affiliations

University of Rochester Medical Center Rochester, NY

Am J Dis Child. 1973;126(3):292-295. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1973.02110190256002

Elsewhere in this journal (p 346), Drs. Howatt, Heidelberger, LeGlovan, and Schnitzer report the successful use of open-lung biopsy in an infant to establish the diagnosis of desquamative interstitial pneumonitis (DIP). The biopsy was well-tolerated and permitted the initiation of appropriate therapy. However, in recent years a variety of additional pulmonary diagnostic procedures have been described that are frequently practical alternatives to open-lung biopsy. These include mediastinoscopy, percutaneous parietal pleural biopsy, percutaneous lung puncture with aspiration, lung biopsy with specially designed cutting needles introduced through the chest wall, lung biopsy with the use of small forceps passed through the rigid bronchoscope, and lung biopsy with small brushes inserted into the lung parenchyma through the nose or mouth. In addition, the development of the flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope has led to the wider application of a number of bronchoscopic procedures. Their proponents claim they can frequently give the physician the same information