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<b><i>Background:</i></b> Diagnostic yield (DY) and safety of computed tomography (CT)- and thoracic ultrasound (TUS)-guided biopsies in the diagnosis of pleural lesions have been investigated in a number of studies, but no synthesis of data from the literature has ever been performed. <b><i>Objectives:</i></b> We aimed to provide the first systematic review and meta-analysis on the DY and safety of CT- versus TUS-guided biopsy in the diagnosis of pleural lesions. <b><i>Method:</i></b> We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE for all studies reporting outcomes of interest published up to April 2018. Two authors reviewed all titles/abstracts and retrieved selected full text to identify studies according to predefined selection criteria. Summary estimates were derived using the random-effects model. Cumulative meta-analysis assessed the influence of increasing adoption of the procedures over time. <b><i>Results:</i></b> Thirty original studies were included in the present review; the number of studies on TUS-guided biopsy was almost three-fold higher than those on CT-guided biopsy. The pooled DYs of the 2 procedures were overall excellent and differed &#x3c;10%, being 84% for TUS-guided biopsy and 93% for CT-guided biopsy. Safety profiles were reassuring for both the techniques, being 7 and 3% for CT- and TUS-guided biopsy, respectively. DY of ultrasound technique significantly improved over time, while no time effect was observed for CT-guided biopsy. <b><i>Conclusions:</i></b> Data show that CT- and TUS-guided biopsies in the diagnosis of pleural lesions are both excellent procedures, without meaningful differences in DYs and safety. Considering that TUS is non-ionizing and easily performed at the bedside, it should be the preferred approach in presence of adequate skills.

Original publication




Journal article




S. Karger AG

Publication Date





77 - 87