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Thirty two transthoracic needle aspiration biopsies were performed on 25 patients with localised pulmonary lesions from June 1987 to December 1988. Two X-ray projections, frontal and lateral, were used for localisation of the lesion. Blind biopsy technique was adopted in all the patients. Definite diagnosis was established in 21 out of the 25 patients. 15 were malignant and six were benign lesions, four patients remained undiagnosed. Repeat biopsies yielded the diagnosis of malignancy in three out of six patients. Overall diagnostic accuracy was 84%. Complications like pneumothorax, hemoptysis and localised hematoma were observed in a total of five patients (20%) but no major complications occurred. The technique is simple and safe. It may facilitate early definite diagnosis in peripheral institutions lacking advanced investigational facilities.