5 years ago

Pulmonary emphysema is a predictor of pneumothorax after CT-guided transthoracic pulmonary biopsies of pulmonary nodules

Birger Mensel, Jens-Peter Kühn, Till Ittermann, Sophia Schäfer, Derik Lendeckel, Marie-Luise Kromrey

by Derik Lendeckel, Marie-Luise Kromrey, Till Ittermann, Sophia Schäfer, Birger Mensel, Jens-Peter Kühn


Pneumothoraces are the most frequently occurring complications of CT-guided percutaneous transthoracic pulmonary biopsies (PTPB). The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of pre-diagnostic lung emphysema on the incidence and extent of pneumothoraces and to establish a risk stratification for the evaluation of the pre-procedure complication probability.

Material and methods

CT-guided PTPB of 100 pre-selected patients (mean age 67.1±12.8 years) were retrospectively enrolled from a single center database of 235 PTPB performed between 2012–2014. Patients were grouped according to pneumothorax appearance directly after PTPB (group I: without pneumothorax, n = 50; group II: with pneumothorax, n = 50). Group II was further divided according to post-interventional treatment (group IIa: chest tube placement, n = 24; group IIb: conservative therapy, n = 26). For each patient pre-diagnostic percentage of emphysema was quantified using CT density analysis. Emphysema stages were compared between groups using bivariate analyses and multinomial logistic regression analyses.


Emphysema percentage was significantly associated with the occurrence of post-interventional pneumothorax (p = 0.006). Adjusted for potential confounders (age, gender, lesion size and length of interventional pathway) the study yielded an OR of 1.07 (p = 0.042). Absolute risk of pneumothorax increased from 43.4% at an emphysema rate of 5% to 73.8% at 25%. No differences could be seen in patients with pneumothorax between percentage of emphysema and mode of therapy (p = 0.721).


The rate of lung emphysema is proportionally related to the incidence of pneumothorax after CT-guided PTPB and allows pre-interventional risk stratification. There is no association between stage of emphysema and post-interventional requirement of chest tube placement.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178078

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.