Surgical Lung Biopsy for Interstitial Lung Diseases

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This review addresses common questions regarding the role of surgical lung biopsy (SLB) in the diagnosis and treatment of interstitial lung disease (ILD). We specifically address when a SLB can be diagnostic as well as when it may be avoided; for example, when the combination of the clinical context and the imaging pattern seen on high-resolution CT (HRCT) chest scans can provide a confident diagnosis. Existing studies on the diagnostic utility as well as the complications associated with SLB are reviewed; also reviewed are the performance characteristics and reliability of HRCT scans of the chest in predicting the underlying histopathologic findings of the lung. The review is formatted in the form of answers to questions that clinicians regularly ask when considering an SLB in a patient with ILD.

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