New technology improves mesothelioma diagnosis from biopsy

An article published in the most recent edition of the Surgical Endoscopy Journal shares the results of a recent study of an electrocautery pleural biopsy technique using a specialized insulated-tip diathermic knife (IT knife). The study hoped to prove this new procedure would allow physicians to obtain a larger sample than traditional biopsy methods, thereby making pathological examination easier, and allow more accurrate diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma.

The study was headed by Shinji Sasada of the Department of Thoracic Malignancy, Osaka Prefectural Medical Center for Respiratory and Allergic Diseases, Osaka, Japan. Scientists compared specimens obtained using the IT knife, as compared to standard flexible forceps (SFF) during semirigid pleuroscopy, and resulting diagnoses, in 20 patients. Subjects all had unexplained pleural effusion.

Results revealed that the IT knife biopsy was superior to SFF in 8 of 20 patients, produced diagnositc yields from specimens in 85 percent of cases (17 of 20 cases) versus 60 percent of cases using SFF (12 of 20 cases).

Researchers conluded that “electrocautery biopsy using the IT knife during semirigid pleuroscopy has great potential for diagnosing smooth abnormal pleura which are difficult to biopsy with SFF.”

View the original article here

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