Value of open lung biopsy in immunocompromised children

Daniela Stefanutti, Lourdes Morais, Jean Christophe Fournet, Dominique Jan, Jean Laurent Casanova, Pierre Scheinmann, Jacques De Blic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the value of open lung biopsy (OLB) in terms of diagnosis, morbidity, mortality, and benefits in immunocompromised children with pulmonary involvement. Study design: We retrospectively reviewed 36 OLBs performed in 32 immunocompromised children between 1985 and 1998. Seventeen biopsies were performed in patients with primary immunodeficiency syndromes and 19 in patients with secondary immunodeficiency syndromes. Twenty-eight biopsies were performed because of a lack of response to ongoing antimicrobial treatments with negative or positive findings on bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and a deteriorating clinical or radiologic course, and 8 biopsies were performed because of persistent chest x-ray infiltrates. Results: Diffuse pulmonary infiltrates were observed on chest x-ray in 28 cases, hyperinflation in 3 cases, and nodular infiltrates in 5 cases. A histopathologic diagnosis was possible for all 36 OLBs. Specific diagnosis was obtained in 22 (61%) (12 infectious agents, 6 tumors, 4 bronchiolitis obliterans) and non-specific diagnosis in 14 (39%). Fungi were the main infectious agents (8 of 12). For the diagnosed infections, BAL provided 4 true-positive, 3 false-positive, and 6 false-negative results. Specific treatment was changed in 77% of cases, providing real benefits in 12 (33%) cases. The morbidity and overall mortality rates were 31% and 33%, respectively. The mortality rate was significantly higher in the first 30 days after OLB in patients receiving ventilatory assistance (58%). Conclusions: OLB in immunocompromised children with deteriorating clinical or radiologic course is a sensitive diagnostic tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-171
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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