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A New Tool in Diagnosis of Lung Diseases: Cryoprobe Lung Biopsy Case Series and the Review of Literature

Dincer, H. Erhan MD*; Amin, Khalid MD; Gibson, Heidi RRT

doi: 10.1097/CPM.0000000000000048
Topics in Pulmonary Medicine

Cryo technology has recently been introduced into clinical practice in diagnosing a variety of lung diseases. Cryotherapy has been used in treatment of lung cancer in different forms: direct cryosurgery, percutaneous cryoablation, and endobronchial cryodebridment. Because cryoprobe transbronchial lung biopsies provide larger biopsy specimen, this method may potentially improve the diagnostic yield in lung diseases. There are only a few pilot studies using cryoprobe biopsy to determine the value of cryobiopsy in patients with lung transplant, lung cancer, interstitial lung disease, and immunocompromised hosts with pulmonary complications. Preliminary results were comparable with conventional transbronchial forceps lung biopsies in terms of diagnostic accuracy for allograft rejection and safety profile in lung transplant patients. Here, we present 4 patients with various lung conditions who underwent cryoprobe biopsy either for surveillance lung biopsy after lung transplant or diagnostic purpose for their underlying lung condition. At the end, management of all patients presented here was changed based on the information obtained from cryoprobe biopsies. We aim to discuss the potential value of cryoprobe biopsy in various lung diseases and its safety profile.

*Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

Cardiopulmonary Services, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Disclosure: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Address correspondence to: H. Erhan Dincer, MD, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, MMC #276 University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware St, SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. E-mails:;

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.