Global Liver Institute

Biopsy Basics


Biopsy Basics

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Beyond the Biopsy Overview

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Biopsy Basics

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Going Beyond the Biopsy

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Liver biopsy has historically been associated with diagnosing liver disease and is still frequently used in clinical trials.

Liver biopsy may be valuable but, increasingly in clinical practice, non-invasive diagnostics can be used. Liver biopsies are invasive, carry risk to patients, and subject to performance and interpretation inaccuracies.

In the majority of circumstances, non-invasive diagnostics (such as blood tests and imaging tests) can be used to avoid liver biopsy and provide more information than a biopsy through their ability to assess broader changes in the liver rather than only in the relatively small amount of liver tissue typically obtained from a liver biopsy.

Hepatologist Web Banner Or Landing Page. Doctor Make Liver Examination

Ask Your Doctor Before the Biopsy

  • What is the reason for doing the biopsy?
  • What are the noninvasive alternatives?
  • What are the processes for minimizing pain and discomfort?
  • How is the risk of bleeding minimized?
  • How soon will I get the results?

Complications of Biopsy

Complications are rare, but can occur. Complications of biopsy include:

  • 8Bleeding
  • 8Pneumothorax
  • 8Hemothorax
  • 8Perforation of viscous organs
  • 8Inadvertent biopsy of the kidney
  • 8Bile peritonitis
  • 8Infection (bacteremia, abscess, sepsis)
  • 8Hemobilia
  • 8Death