Forty-six open biopsies in 40 acutely ill children with rapidly decreasing pulmonary reserve were performed at the University of Minnesota Hospitals between January 1, 1970, and January 1, 1972. Tissue obtained was adequate in all patients and no serious complications ensued. Information obtained resulted in the change in treatment in 30 patients. This procedure is recommended over closed biopsy when the magnitude of the patient's illness and degree of pulmonary function do not allow acceptance of the risks known to occur with a closed biopsy technique and when histologic examination of lung tissue is required.

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