Pleural effusion is a common diagnostic problem. Many times an etiologic cause is immediately evident; however, in the remaining cases the physician may have to resort to all available methods, including thoracotomy, to arrive at a satisfactory solution. The purpose of this paper is to present the results of needle biopsy of the parietal pleura and to compare it with information obtained by other methods.
Needle biopsy of the parietal pleura was performed with use of a Vim-Silverman biopsy needle, as first reported in 1955, by DeFrancis, Klosk, and Albano.1 Bleeding, clotting, and prothrombin times were routinely determined to rule out any coagulation defects prior to biopsy. After the biopsy site was selected by x-ray and physical examination, the skin was sterilized with thimerosal (Tincture Merthiolate). The patient was placed in a sitting position and 1% procaine hydrochloride was used to infiltrate the skin, intercostal muscle, and