Purpose: To assess the risk factors, incidence and significance of pneumothorax in patients undergoing CT-guided lung biopsy. Methods: Patients who underwent a CT-guided lung biopsy between August 10, 2010 and September 19, 2016 were retrospectively identified. Imaging was assessed for immediate and delayed pneumothorax. Records were reviewed for presence of risk factors and the frequency of complications requiring chest tube placement. 604 patients were identified. Patients who underwent chest wall biopsy (39) or had incomplete data (9) were excluded. Results: Of 556 patients (average age 66 years, 50.2% women) 26.3% (146/556) had an immediate pneumothorax and 2.7% (15/556) required chest tube placement. 297/410 patients without pneumothorax had a delayed chest X-ray. Pneumothorax developed in 1% (3/297); one patient required chest tube placement. Pneumothorax risk was associated with smaller lesion sizes (OR 0.998; 95% CI (0.997, 0.999); [p = 0.002]) and longer intrapulmonary needle traversal (OR 1.055; 95% CI (1.033, 1.077); [p < 0.001]). Previous ipsilateral lung surgery (OR 0.12; 95% CI (0.031, 0.468); [p = 0.002]) and longer needle traversal through subcutaneous tissue (OR 0.976; 95% CI (0.96, 0.992); [p = 0.0034]) were protective of pneumothorax. History of lung cancer, biopsy technique, and smoking history were not significantly associated with pneumothorax risk. Conclusion: Delayed pneumothorax after CT-guided lung biopsy is rare, developing in 1% of our cohort. Pneumothorax is associated with smaller lesion size and longer intrapulmonary needle traversal. Previous ipsilateral lung surgery and longer needle traversal through subcutaneous tissues are protective of pneumothorax. Stratifying patients based on pneumothorax risk may safely obviate standard post-biopsy delayed chest radiographs.
- Delayed pneumothorax
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine