Annals of Biomedical Sciences

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Pleural biopsy for indeterminate cases of pleural effusion

OS Ukadike, U Ezekiel


Background: Patients presenting with pleural effusion with no clearly identified cause, present a dilemma to the attending clinician. They are especially challenging when malignancies are suspected.
Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study of all consecutive cases of pleural biopsies done for indeterminate cause of pleural effusion in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital from December 2008 to May 2010, a total of 18months. Blind pleural biopsy was carried out using the Abram’s Pleural Biopsy Needle.
Results: A total of 16 cases were retrieved, with a mean age of 46.8 ± 15.2 years and age range of 25-72years, with a male: female ratio of 3:5. All the pleural effusion were exudates, 56.2% were haemorrhagic and 31.2% were straw colored and 12.5% were pyogenic. A total of 56.2% of the samples taken returned as inadequate for diagnosis (showing stroma, haemorhagic and muscle cells). 43.8% were adequate for diagnosis with malignancies making 57% and chronic inflammatory lesion (Tuberculosis) 29%.
Conclusion: Blind pleural biopsy still sub serves as a useful tool in the evaluation of indeterminate cases of pleural effusion where its use can be taught and safely practiced.
AJOL African Journals Online