• From January 1978 through December 1980, ninety-five immunocompromised patients underwent diagnostic open lung biopsy (OLB) at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. A specific causative diagnosis was made in 77 patients (81%); 12 patients (13%) had more than one specific causative diagnosis. Of the 77 patients with a specific causative diagnosis, 52 patients (68%) had infections, 19 patients (24%) had malignant pulmonary disease, 12 patients (15%) had cytotoxic lung disease, ten patients (13%) had interstitial fibrosis (not related to cytotoxins), and one patient (1%) had vasculitis. In 36 (47%) of the 77 patients with a specific causative diagnosis, the diagnosis was made, by frozen sections or stains, within three hours of OLB. In 35 additional patients (45%), the diagnosis was established within 24 hours. Twelve patients (13%) had minor complications of OLB; no deaths were attributed to the OLB procedure.
(Arch Intern Med 1985;145:1398-1404)