Dig Dis. 2023 Aug 23:1. doi: 10.1159/000533328. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: A variety of liver disorders are associated with characteristic histopathological findings that help in their diagnosis and treatment. However, percutaneous liver biopsy (PLB) is prone to limitations and complications. We evaluated all PLBs done in our hospital in a 13-year period, aiming to assess PLB's utility and complications.
METHODS: All PLBs conducted in an internal medicine department of a tertiary university hospital in Athens, Greece, during a 13-year period were reviewed. Recorded data included demographic characteristics, laboratory results acquired on biopsy day, indication for liver biopsy, and occurrence of side effects. All patients were followed for 1 month post-hospital discharge for possible PLB-related complications.
RESULTS: A total of 261 patients underwent PLB during the study period. The commonest indication of PLB was investigation of liver mass, followed by transaminasemia. PLB assisted in setting a diagnosis in 218 patients and was unhelpful in only 43, in 14 of them due to inadequate or inappropriate biopsy specimen. Complications attributable to PLB were rare, with 10 patients exhibiting pain, either at biopsy site or in the right shoulder, and 3 having bleeding episodes; no deaths were noted.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that PLB is still a powerful diagnostic tool in everyday practice, provided it is used when indicated.