JOURNAL OF BRONCHOLOGY & INTERVENTIONAL PULMONOLOGY, vol.26, no.3, pp.210-218, 2019 (ESCI)
Background: This study aimed to prospectively evaluate the efficacy and reliability of a diagnostic workup, triaging pleural biopsy method according to baseline computerized tomography (CT) findings in the diagnosis of pleural diseases. Methods: Patients with pleural pathology were divided into 3 arms according to findings on CT scan images. Arm A: patients with pleural thickening/lesion in addition to pleural effusion. These patients underwent CT scan-guided Abrams' needle pleural biopsy. Arm B: patients with pleural effusion alone or suspected benign asbestos pleurisy. This group underwent medical thoracoscopy (MT). Arm C: patients with only pleural thickening. This group underwent ultrasonography-guided cutting needle pleural biopsy. MT was planned in patients who did not have a specific diagnosis in the CT scan-guided Abrams' needle pleural biopsy group. When patients with a histopathologic diagnosis of fibrinous pleuritis after MT were assessed in terms of the risk factors for malignant pleural diseases, we offered a further invasive procedure. Results: A total of 164 patients were enrolled in the study. Diagnostic sensitivity after the initial procedure was 90.2% in Arm A, 93.3% in Arm B, 95.2% in Arm C, and 92.4% in the entire workup. The negative predictive value of the entire workup was 90.4% for malignant pleural mesothelioma, 97.1% for metastatic malignant pleural diseases, and 100% for tuberculous pleurisy. Five cases who had a diagnosis of fibrinous pleuritis after MT were detected to have risk factors, 4 of which (80%) indicated malignant disease. Complication rates were low and acceptable. Conclusion: Use of CT scans to triage an appropriate pleural biopsy method is associated with high diagnostic success. We recommend that the proposed diagnostic workup in this study may be used as a diagnostic algorithm for pleural diseases that require a histopathologic analysis. Determination of risk factors predicting malignant disease in patients where fibrinous pleuritis is reported after MT would be useful for clinical practice.