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Water Seal Technique for Lung Biopsy 

Water Seal Technique for Lung Biopsy
Water Seal Technique for Lung Biopsy

Kazim Narsinh

, and Thomas Kinney

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date: 24 July 2021

Gas embolism is an infrequent but potentially severe complication of percutaneous transthoracic lung biopsy. One potential mechanism for the creation of an arterial gas embolism is the introduction of atmospheric air into the biopsy needle when the tip is located in the pulmonary vein. To minimize the risk of introducing air into a pulmonary vein via the biopsy needle, a “water seal technique” can be used to create a hydrostatic column within the introducer needle before the biopsy needle is inserted. Then, if sufficient negative intrathoracic pressure is generated while the needle tip is in a pulmonary vein, saline will enter the pulmonary vein rather than air. This chapter describes the water seal technique to mitigate the risk of arterial gas embolism during transthoracic lung biopsy.

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