Do immunocompromised children benefit from having surgical lung biopsy performed?

Gal Goldstein, Nathan Keller, Ron Bilik, Bella Bielorai, Amos Toren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Surgical lung biopsy is considered a gold standard for the evaluation of pulmonary disease in immunocompromised children. However, in the literature, its accuracy and the rate of complications vary. Objective: We aimed to evaluate the yield of surgical lung biopsies in the management of persistent pulmonary findings in immunocompromised children. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of clinical records of immunocompromised children who underwent surgical lung biopsies, and evaluated the impact that preoperative factors had on outcomes. Results: Twenty-five patients underwent 27 surgical lung biopsies. The underlying immunodeficiency included allogeneic stem cell transplantation (n = 12), chemotherapy for solid tumors (n = 6), hematologic malignancy (n = 4), primary immunodeficiency (n = 4) and chronic steroid use (n = 1). Biopsies provided a specific histopathologic or microbiologic diagnosis in 10 cases (37%). No preoperative factor predicted a diagnostic biopsy. Five of the 27 biopsies were beneficial for the patients (18%). A major complication related to the procedure was reported for 1 biopsy (4%). Conclusions: We conclude that surgical lung biopsy in pediatric immunocompromised patients appears to be safe, but has a relatively low diagnostic yield and an even lower yield with regards to the benefit it provides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-209
Number of pages5
JournalActa Haematologica
Issue number2
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Immunocompromised children
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Surgical lung biopsy


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