Skip Navigation LinksHome > August 2011 - Volume 6 - Issue 8 > A Rare Complication of a CT-Guided Biopsy
Journal of Thoracic Oncology:
doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e318220907e
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A Rare Complication of a CT-Guided Biopsy

Turaka, Aruna MD*; Parsons, Rosaleen B. MD†

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Departments of *Radiation Oncology and †Radiology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Disclosure: The author declare no conflicts of interest.

Address for correspondence: Aruna Turaka, MD, Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111. E-mail:

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A 68-year-old gentleman presented with severe abdominal discomfort which led to the incidental finding of a right upper lobe mass. A positron emission tomography/computed tomography (CT) was then performed which demonstrated increased metabolic activity limited to the peripheral mass. A CT-guided biopsy (see Figure 1) was performed with the pathology consistent with a poorly differentiated non-small cell lung cancer. The tumor increased in size from 2.3 × 1.9 cm on the CT-guided biopsy scan only 5 weeks later. A repeat diagnostic CT with contrast was recommended and performed now demonstrating the mass to be 8.8 × 5.9 cm. As seen in Figure 2, there is direct extension of the tumor outside the chest wall in the exact tract of the needle (see Figure 1). This is a rare complication for patients with lung cancer,1 which is more commonly seen in aggressive malignancies.

Figure 1
Figure 1
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Figure 2
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1. Sawabata N, Ohta M, Maeda H. Fine-needle aspiration cytologic technique for lung cancer has a high potential of malignant cell spread through the tract. Chest 2000;118:936–939.

© 2011International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer


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