The results and complications arising from use of the percutaneous transthoracic lung biopsy technique in 20 clinically healthy sheep were analyzed. The animals were subjected to clinical examination followed by lung biopsy with a semi-automatic needle in the 7th right intercostal space, 5cm above the olecranon. The number of attempts to implement the procedure and size of the fragments were evaluated. The samples were evaluated histologically. After the slaughter, a postmortem examination assessed the technical complications and possible injuries. Among all animals which underwent biopsy only two did not tolerate the technique. Lung fragments measuring 4-7mm were obtained by an average of 1.8 attempts per fragment. The main changes related to the procedure were cough, labored breathing, increased heart and breathing rate, and increased bronco-bronchiolar sound. The postmortem examination revealed bleeding of the intercostal muscles and visceral pleura of various extend in all lambs, and a wound up to 14mm length in the lung of two animals that did not tolerate the procedure. From 20 attempts to implement the technique, 18 were successful, while in two of them the liver was mistakenly punctured. Samples of lung tissue were representative. It was possible to visualize intact structures, including bronchioles and alveoli. It could be concluded that lung biopsy is a safe and effective procedure to obtain lung samples for histological diagnosis.
Lung biopsy; auxiliary tests; lung; sheep