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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

  • Infections such as tuberculosis
  • Necrotizing granuloma, a type of tumor
  • Nasal polyps
  • Nasal tumors
  • Sarcoid
  • Wegener's disease

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.

Review Date: 10/18/2009

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Information developed by A.D.A.M., Inc. regarding tests and test results may not directly correspond with information provided by UCSF Medical Center. Please discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.