Global Liver Institute
GLOBAL LIVER INSTITUTE
Beyond the Biopsy Overview
Going Beyond the Biopsy
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.
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:
- 8Perforation of viscous organs
- 8Inadvertent biopsy of the kidney
- 8Bile peritonitis
- 8Infection (bacteremia, abscess, sepsis)