[Surgical diagnosis of pleural disease].
ABSTRACT Videothoracoscopy is a minimally invasive techinique providing a direct view of the pleural cavity. It enables complete exploration of the cavity with biopsies of pathological zones. The indication, based on clinical or radiographic findings, is retained when less invasive methods have been unable to establish the diagnosis and a specific pleural disease (tumor or other) is suspected. Depending on the observations at videothoracoscopy and the suspected disease, deep biopsies to the subpleural fat can be made with a forceps if nodules have been identified. If the pleura is uniformly thin, a small flap can be detached for the biopsy. Several pleura sites are biopsied and a direct pathology examination can be performed on certain specimens. Videothoracoscopy enables careful hemostasis of biopsied zones and symphysis (generally with talc) if needed. The perioperative mortality is low (<0.5%) with good sensitivity greater than 90% and excellent specificity at 100%. The presence of complete pleural symphysis counterindicates videothoracoscopy. In such patients, direct access via an intercostal incision is needed to obtain localized biopsies.