biopsy removes a small piece of lung tissue which can
be looked at under a microscope.
Lung biopsy results are usually
available in 2 to 4 working days. It may take several weeks to get results from
tissue samples that are being tested for certain infections, such as
The lung tissue is normal under a
microscope. No signs of infection, inflammation, or cancer are present.
Abnormal cells and tissue in the lung may
be due to active infection, certain lung diseases, or several different types
of cancer. If
lung cancer is present, results of the biopsy can
determine treatment options (surgery,
What Affects the Test
A biopsy sample that is too
small for a diagnosis can affect the accuracy of the results.
needle biopsy collects tissue from such a small area that there is a chance
that a cancer may be missed.
What To Think About
- Before a final diagnosis is made, the results
of a lung biopsy will be considered along with your past health, physical
examination, and the results of other tests, including a chest
X-ray or a
CT scan. A bronchoscopy may also
- A lung biopsy may not be
done for people who have:
- Advanced lung disease, such as
- Bleeding disorders.
- Heart failure, high blood pressure in the lungs
(pulmonary hypertension), or enlargement of the right side of the heart (cor pulmonale).
Other Works Consulted
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.
Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby.
Primary Medical Reviewer
||Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
||Robert L. Cowie, MB, FCP(SA), MD, MSc, MFOM - Pulmonology
||November 1, 2012