Diagnostic Accuracy of Ultrasound Guided Percutaneous Pleural Needle Biopsy for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Journal of Clinical Medicine 2024 April 29 [Link]

Carlo Iadevaia, Vito D’Agnano, Raffaella Pagliaro, Felice Nappi, Raffaella Lucci, Simona Massa, Andrea Bianco, Fabio Perrotta


Background/Objectives: Ultrasound (US) has been progressively spreading as the most useful technique for guiding biopsies and fine-needle aspirations that are performed percutaneously. Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) represents the most common malignant pleural tumour. Thoracoscopy represents the gold standard for diagnosis, although conditions hampering such diagnostic approach often coexist. The Objective was to determine whether ultrasound-guided percutaneous needle biopsy (US-PPNB) has a high diagnostic accuracy and represents a safe option for diagnosis of MPM. Methods: US-PPNB of pleural lesions suspected for MPM in patients admitted from January 2021 to June 2023 have been retrospectively analyzed. An 18-gauge semi-automatic spring-loaded biopsy system (Medax Velox 2®) was used by experienced pneumologists. The obtained specimens were histologically evaluated and defined as adequate or non-adequate for diagnosis according to whether the material was considered appropriate or not for immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis. The primary objective of the study was the diagnostic yield for a tissue diagnosis. Results: US-PPNB was diagnostic of MPM in 15 out of 18 patients (sensitivity: 83.39%; specificity: 100%; PPV: 100%). Three patients with non-adequate US-PPNB underwent thoracoscopy for diagnosis. We found significant differences in terms of mean pleural lesion thickness between patients with adequate and not-adequate biopsy (15.4 mm (SD: 9.19 mm) and 3.77 mm (SD: 0.60 mm), p < 0.0010. In addition, a significant positive correlation has been observed between diagnostic accuracy and FDG-PET avidity value. Conclusions: US-PPNB performed by a pneumologist represents a valid procedure with a high diagnostic yield and accuracy for the diagnosis of MPM, and may be considered as an alternative option in patients who are not suitable for thoracoscopy.