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Nasal mucosal biopsy

Definition

A nasal mucosal biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue from the lining of the nose so that it can be checked for disease.

Alternative Names

Biopsy - nasal mucosa; Nose biopsy

How the test is performed

A painkiller is sprayed into the nose. In some cases, a numbing shot may be used. A small piece of the tissue that appears abnormal is removed and checked for problems in the laboratory.

How to prepare for the test

No special preparation is necessary. You may be asked to fast for a few hours before the biopsy.

How the test will feel

You may feel pressure or tugging when the tissue is removed. After the numbness wears off, the area may be sore for a few days. A small to moderate amount of bleeding after the procedure is common. If there is bleeding, the blood vessels may be sealed with an electric current or laser.

Why the test is performed

Nasal mucosal biopsy is usually done when abnormal tissue is seen during examination of the nose. It may also be done when problems affecting the mucosal tissue of the nose are suspected.

Normal Values

There are no abnormal growths or tissue.

Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

What abnormal results mean

What the risks are

  • Bleeding from the biopsy site
  • Infection

Special considerations

Avoid blowing your nose after the biopsy. Gently squeeze the nostrils shut if there is bleeding. If there is bleeding, the blood vessels may be sealed with an electric current or packing.

References

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    Review Date: 10/18/2009

    Review By: Alan Lipkin, MD, Otolaryngologist, Private Practice, Denver, Colorado. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

    The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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