This study aimed to assess the current practice patterns of radiologists performing percutaneous lung biopsies.
Materials and Methods:
This cross-sectional study used a web-based survey sent to the Society of Thoracic Radiology membership from August to October 2015. Responses were collected anonymously, and results were tallied.
A total of 244 Society of Thoracic Radiology members responded to the survey. One hundred thirty-seven radiologists regularly perform percutaneous lung biopsies, of whom 102 (74%) practice at an academic teaching hospital. Computed tomography (CT) and CT fluoroscopy were the modalities of choice for image guidance, preferred by 82 (60%) and 48 (35%) respondents, respectively. Twenty (15%) respondents preferred fine-needle aspiration (FNA) alone, 57 (42%) preferred core needle biopsy (CNB) alone, and 59 (43%) preferred both FNA and CNB in the same setting. On-site cytology was routinely requested by 70 (71%) respondents with access to such services. In cases of suspected lung cancer, 79 (60%) respondents estimated sending tissue for molecular analysis >25% of the time. Forty-three (32%) respondents reported using intraprocedural preventive measures to minimize risk of pneumothorax.
Among surveyed radiologists who perform percutaneous lung biopsies, most utilize CT guidance with either CNB alone or in conjunction with FNA. A small minority routinely performs FNA alone, which may negatively impact diagnostic accuracy and provide insufficient tissue for molecular profiling. Education of all radiologists regarding the importance of routinely acquiring and sending greater amounts of tissue for molecular/genomic assessment of suspected lung cancer is needed.