Performing routine needle biopsy of suspicious lung nodules in surgical candidates appears to have several benefits, according to Canadian investigators. With routine needle biopsy, 16% of patients avoided operation and only 2.7% underwent resection of a pathologically benign nodule. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were 100%, 75%, 99.7%, and 100%, respectively. Saved operation time was an average of 165 hours, at a cost that was 44.5% ($395,500) that of upfront wedge resection for tissue diagnosis ($888,300).

Abstract: Annals of Thoracic Surgery, November 2012.