In the diagnosis of lung lesions, computed tomography (CT)-guided percutaneous transthoracic needle biopsy (PTNB) has a high diagnostic yield and a low complication rate. The procedure is usually performed by interventional radiologists, but the diagnostic yield and safety of CT-guided PTNB when performed by pulmonologists have not been evaluated. A retrospective study of 239 patients who underwent CT-guided PTNB at Yeungnam University Hospital between March 2017 and April 2018 was conducted. A pulmonologist performed the procedure using a co-axial technique with a 20-gauge needle. Then diagnostic yield and safety were assessed. The overall sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value for the diagnosis of malignancy were 96.1% (171/178), 100% (46/46), 100% (171/171), and 86.8% (46/53), respectively. The diagnostic accuracy was 96.9% (217/224) and the overall complication rate was 33.1% (82/248). Pneumothorax, hemoptysis, and hemothorax occurred in 27.0% (67/248), 5.2% (13/248), and 0.8% (2/248) of the patients, respectively. Univariate analyses revealed that pneumothorax requiring chest tube insertion was a significant risk factor (odds ratio, 25.0; p
< 0.001) for diagnostic failure. CT-guided PTNB is a safe procedure with a high diagnostic accuracy, even when performed by an inexperienced pulmonologist. The results were similar to those achieved by interventional radiologists as reported in previously published studies.
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