Percutaneous liver biopsy: retrospective study over 15 years comparing 287 inpatients with 428 outpatients.
J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Feb 4;
Authors: Weigand K, Weigand K
Abstract Background and Aim: Liver histology still represents the gold standard for the assessment of liver inflammation, necrosis, and fibrosis. The least cumbersome way of obtaining liver tissue is percutaneous liver biopsy. The aim of this retrospective study was to compare the complications following liver biopsy in in- and outpatients and to evaluate for which patients the benefit from liver biopsy is highest. Methods: All patients undergoing percutaneous liver biopsy at a teaching hospital between January 1990 and April 2005 were evaluated for indications, complications and impact of histology. Results: Liver biopsy was performed in 287 inpatients and 428 outpatients with a success rate of 99.4%. The total complication rate was 6.3% in inpatients and 11% in outpatients. Only two major complications, but no deaths occurred. Pain was the main complication, especially in young patients with chronic viral hepatitis. Despite normal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels advanced liver fibrosis was found in 9.3%, 2.6%, and 5.4% of all patients with HBV-, HCV infection, and non viral liver diseases, respectively. In 3% of all patients evaluated a previously unrecognized second liver disease was found. In 21.4% of the patients alkaline phosphatase (AP) levels were elevated, and in more than 90% of these patients liver biopsy led to the final diagnosis. Conclusion: Liver biopsy is safe in in- and outpatients. Biopsy is particularly helpful in patients suspected of having liver disease in spite of normal ALT levels or in patients exhibiting unexplained elevated AP levels.
PMID: 19220661 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]