A needle lung biopsy is performed when there is an abnormal condition that is near the surface of the lung, in the tissues surrounding the lungs, or on the chest wall. The test can be performed to obtain a sample for culture when infection of the lung is suspected, and sputum or bronchoalveolar lavage cultures have not identified the cause of the infection.
Review Date 8/3/2020
Updated by: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, MHS, Paul F. Harron Jr. Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.