CT Guided Lung Biopsy

CT-guided lung biopsy is a procedure to collect small tissue samples from an abnormal area in the lung.

During the procedure CT (computed tomography) is used to show live pictures of your lung. Then a thin needle is used to remove the tissue samples. The samples are tested in a lab for cancer and other problems.


Tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking. It's important for your doctor to know if you are taking any blood-thinning medicines or have a bleeding disorder. Also, tell your doctor if you have a pacemaker, are pregnant or breastfeeding, are allergic to or have intolerances to any medicines. Before the procedure begins, you will be asked to sign an informed consent form. An IV (intravenous) line may be put into a vein in your hand or arm. This line supplies fluids and medicines. To keep you free of pain during the procedure, you may be given anesthesia. Depending on the type of anesthesia used, you may be awake, drowsy, or in a deep sleep for the procedure.

  • You’ll lie on a CT scan table. You may be on your back, side, or stomach. Pictures of your lung are then taken using the CT scanner. This helps your doctor find the best place to position the needle in your lungs.
  • A mark is made on your skin where the needle will be inserted (biopsy site). The site is injected with local anesthetic medicine.
  • Using the CT pictures as a guide, the needle is passed through the numbed skin between your ribs and into your lung. Samples of tissue are then removed from the abnormal area in your lung. The samples are sent to a lab to be checked for problems.
  • When the procedure is complete, the needle is removed. Pressure is applied to the biopsy site to help stop any bleeding. The site is then bandaged.
  • After the procedure, you’ll be taken to a room to rest until the anesthesia wears off.
  • A chest X-ray may be done. This is to make sure there was no damage to your lungs or the area where the needle was placed.
  • When it’s time for you to go home, have an adult family member or friend ready to drive you.
  • You may cough up a small amount of blood shortly after the procedure. Later, you may also have some soreness around the biopsy site.
  • Take all medicines as directed.
  • Care for the biopsy site as instructed.
  • Check for signs of infection at the biopsy site (see below).
  • Don't bathe or shower until your doctor says it's OK. If you wish, you may wash with a sponge or washcloth.
  • Don't lift anything heavy or do strenuous activities, as directed.
  • If you plan any air travel, ask your doctor when you can do so. You may be told not to fly for a few weeks. This is because pressure changes may affect your lungs.
  • Visit your doctor if you have sudden, severe difficulty breathing. This could be a life-threatening emergency.

Call your doctor for less severe symptoms

  • Fever of 100.4° F ( 38° C) or higher
  • Sudden chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting
  • Coughing up increasing amounts of blood
  • Signs of infection at the biopsy site, such as increased redness or swelling, warmth, more pain, bleeding, or bad-smelling drainage
  • An air leak in your lung (pneumothorax), which may require a stay in the hospital and treatment to re-inflate the lung
  • Bleeding into or around the lung
  • Infection in the skin or lung
  • Injury to other structures in the chest
  • Risks associated with anesthesia.

Consult with our experienced Anesthesiologists

JNU is home to some of the most eminent doctors in the world, most of whom are pioneers in their respective arenas and are renowned for developing innovative and revolutionary procedures