Abrams Pleural Biopsy
This page will give you information about a pleural biopsy and drainage. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.
What is a pleural biopsy?
A pleural biopsy involves removing a small piece of tissue from the two-layered membrane (pleura) that lines the outside of your lung and the inside of your ribcage. Your doctor may also remove a sample of fluid from the space between the layers (the pleural space) (see figure 1).
A pleural biopsy is a good method to confirm if you have tuberculosis. The tissue and any fluid that your doctor removes will be examined under a microscope to help explain why there is a problem and to decide on any further treatment.
Are there any alternatives to an Abrams pleural biopsy and drainage?
An x-ray or scan can show that you have a problem with the pleura. It may be possible to perform a lung biopsy using an x-ray, CT or ultrasound scan to help decide exactly where to take the samples from.
What does the procedure involve?
Your doctor may offer you a sedative to help you relax.
An Abrams pleural biopsy and drainage usually takes less than twenty minutes. It involves making a cut and then placing a biopsy instrument through the cut.
Your doctor will use a biopsy instrument to take biopsies and drain any fluid.
What complications can happen?
- Breathlessness, chest tightness or worsening cough
- Allergic reaction
- Bleeding from a biopsy site
- Infection in the pleural space
How soon will I recover?
You should be able to go home after a few hours.
A member of the healthcare team will discuss with you any treatment or follow-up you need.
You should be able to go back to work the day after the procedure unless you are told otherwise.
An Abrams pleural biopsy and drainage is usually a safe and effective way of finding out if you have Tuberculosis.
Author: Dr David Baldwin MD FRCP
Illustrations: Hannah Ravenscroft RM
This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.