The specific diagnosis of interstitial lung disease has conventionally been determined by lung biopsy. Lung biopsy also is useful for assessing disease activity and prognosis, and is sometimes useful in deciding on the necessity of therapy. The availability of newer biopsy techniques and the interaction of these techniques with current generation imaging modalities has changed the role of biopsy in interstitial lung disease. This review reports on the indications, techniques, and limitations of biopsy procedures and places them in the context of the use of current imaging methods, as reflected in recent literature.
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