Pulmonary artery sarcoma masquerading as chronic pulmonary thromboembolism.
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of percutaneous endovascular biopsy (PEB) in intravascular filling-defect lesions (IVLs) of the great vessels. We retrospectively reviewed 19 patients (age 65 ± 12 years), 11 men and eight women, who underwent PEB for IVLs, between March 2004 and November 2014. All PEBs were performed for early diagnosis and/or characterization of the IVL, or in case of reasonable doubt about the IVL nature. Pre-intervention imaging work-up included CT, MRI and/or PET-CT. PEBs were obtained with a 7F biopsy forceps device. Clinical profile, procedure technical success and safety, and clinical success were evaluated. PEB was technically successful in all patients (mean of two samples per IVL). No intra- or post-procedural complications were reported. Histopathological analysis provided a diagnosis in all PEBs with a clinical success of 100%. Of the 19 IVLs, 14 were malignant (74%). The most frequent malignant lesion observed was leiomyosarcoma (29%). Benign lesions (26%) included three thrombi (pulmonary artery) and two myxomas. PEB is a safe and efficient procedure providing the most effective technique to obtain a tissue sample of high diagnostic quality, which serves to establish early diagnosis in patients with suspected malignant lesions. • Intravascular filling-defect lesions are related to both benign conditions and malignant tumours. • Endovascular biopsy is indicated in case of doubt about intravascular lesion nature. • Percutaneous endovascular biopsy is a safe technique. • Endovascular biopsy provides tissue samples leading to correct histopathological analysis. • Percutaneous endovascular biopsy provides early diagnosis of malignant intravascular lesions.