OBJECTIVE: To determine safety of lung biopsy in healthy cattle and compare 3 biopsy instruments for suitability of use.
DESIGN: Prospective study.
ANIMALS: 60 healthy cows.
PROCEDURE: Bilateral lung biopsy through the ninth intercostal space was attempted in all cows. The procedure was performed with cows standing and restrained by an assistant. To study the short-term effects of lung biopsy, 50 cows were slaughtered 1 day after the procedure and examined. To study the long-term effects of lung biopsy, the remaining 10 cows were examined daily for 10 days and then slaughtered. Three biopsy instruments--the Autovac biopsy cannula, the Tru-Cut needle, and the Bard Biopty-System--were evaluated.
RESULTS: 2 cows collapsed momentarily during the procedure but recovered quickly. The remaining cows did not develop adverse effects, and general attitude and condition were not affected. Postmortem examination of the 50 cows slaughtered 1 day after the procedure revealed lesions < or = 5.0 mm long and with a surface area < or = 4.0 mm2 at 108 of 154 (71%) biopsy sites involving the pulmonary pleura. Biopsy specimens were obtained during 48 of 50 (96%) procedures in which the Tru-Cut needle was used, during 38 of 39 (97%) procedures in which the Bard Biopty-System was used, and during only 1 of 11 biopsy procedures in which the Autovac cannula was used. At postmortem examination of the 10 cows slaughtered 10 days after the procedure, lesions were seen as small scars; adhesions were not observed.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Percutaneous lung biopsy is a safe procedure in healthy cows.