Lung biopsy in children's interstitial and diffuse lung disease: Does it alter management?

Niloufar Hafezi, Mark A. Heimberger, Kyle A. Lewellen, Thomas Maatman, Gregory S. Montgomery, Troy A. Markel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Pediatric patients with acute life-threatening consequences of interstitial and diffuse lung disease are often treated with empiric systemic corticosteroids, immune modulators, and/or broad antibiotic therapy. Histological evaluation of lung tissue represents the final necessary step in diagnosis—however, a definitive diagnosis may still remain elusive and medical therapies may not be changed following biopsy. We hypothesized that lung biopsy from pediatric patients with children's interstitial and diffuse lung disease (chILD) without a defined lesion on computed tomography (CT) imaging would guide diagnosis, but not substantially alter clinical management. Methods: After IRB approval, patients who underwent a lung biopsy at a single large children's hospital between 2013 and 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients without a defined lesion were included. Demographics, length of stay, oxygen-requirements, steroid, unique number of immune modulators, and antibiotics prebiopsy and postbiopsy were reviewed. Nonparametric data were compared by the Mann Whitney U and Kruskal Wallace tests and expressed as median with interquartile range. Decision tree alterations were analyzed by t test. P <.05 was significant. Results: Sixty-four patients underwent lung biopsy during the period. Nineteen (30%) did not have a defined lesion on CT scan, and were included. A significant difference was seen between prebiopsy, 2 weeks, and 2 months postbiopsy prednisone dosing (P =.03), while the number of unique immune modulators, antibiotics, type of oxygen support and FiO2 were not significantly different before or after obtaining biopsy results. Pathology results provided additional information in 12 of 19 (63%) patients which resulted in management changes. Conclusions: Lung biopsy in chILD may guide clinical management, especially influencing the management of steroid dosing. Although on aggregate the number of antibiotics, immune modulators, mode of oxygen support and FiO2 did not differ significantly before and after biopsy, the pathologic evaluation provided diagnostic information that led to a variety of changes in therapeutic management in greater than half of the population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1050-1060
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric pulmonology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • biopsy
  • chILD
  • children
  • diffuse lung disease
  • interstitial lung disease
  • pulmonary disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Lung biopsy in children's interstitial and diffuse lung disease: Does it alter management?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this