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Closed Pleural Biopsy

Several methods are available for the biopsy of the pleural lung covering. Your pleura is a large, thin sheet of tissue that wraps around the outside of your lungs and lines the inside of your chest cavity. Patients that have thickened pleura or have pleural fluid (pleural effusion) with pleural changes may benefit from this procedure. This procedure is done on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia in the skin. A pleural biopsy instrument is placed through the skin into the abnormal pleura and a small biopsy of tissue is removed.

Why is it used?

  • Abnormal lung pleura may be caused by tuberculosis, other infections, lung cancer, mesothelioma, previous blood around the lung, metastatic cancers, or other inflammatory diseases. Closed pleural biopsy allows the pulmonary physician to diagnosis the cause of the abnormal or thickened pleura.

What Makes Closed Pleural Biospy Different?

  • Performed using local anesthesia in the skin
  • It is a lower risk minimal invasive biopsy procedure

Benefits of Closed Pleural Biopsy

  • Provides larger samples of pleural tissues than other biopsy techniques
  • Greater amount of tissue usually improves the ability to diagnose pleural abnormalities

Learn More About Closed Pleural Biopsy

At UC San Diego Medical Center’s Interventional Pulmonology Unit, the following interventional pulmonologists specialize in performing closed pleural biopsy:

All referrals will still have the option of continuing their treatment with their primary care physicians after the closed pleural biopsy.


For an appointment, for more information, or to find out how to refer a patient, please contact the Interventional Pulmonology Unit, 619-543-5840.

Interventional Pulmonology
UC San Diego Medical Center, 3rd Floor, South Wing
200 West Arbor Drive
San Diego, CA 619-543-5840