To obtain a sample of lung tissue for biopsy, a needle is inserted within the lung and a sample is withdrawn and sent to the laboratory. The laboratory test isolates and identifies organisms that cause infection from the lung specimen. A lung needle biopsy culture is performed when infection of the lung is suspected and sputum or bronchoalveolar lavage cultures have not identified the cause of the infection.
Review Date 9/22/2018
Updated by: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.