The indications for liver biopsy

Andrea Tannapfel, Hans-Peter Dienes, Ansgar W Lohse
Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 2012, 109 (27): 477-83

BACKGROUND: Despite improvements in serological and radiological techniques, liver biopsy remains the most reliable way to diagnose diffuse hepatic disease and hepatic nodules. The indications for this invasive technique must be weighed against the small, but not negligible, risk of a complication.

METHODS: The indications for liver biopsy are summarized on the basis of a selective review of the literature, including the published recommendations and position statements of specialty societies in Germany and abroad. The conclusions are supplemented with an evaluation of the authors' own experience.

RESULTS: The success of liver biopsy depends not only on the selection of the puncture method and on due attention to the relative and absolute contraindications, but also on the experience of the person carrying out the procedure. For patients with hepatitis of various etiologies, liver biopsy is used not only to establish the cause of the disorder, but also to assess the degree of inflammatory activity (grading) and the extent of fibrosis (staging).

CONCLUSION: Liver biopsy enables the reliable diagnosis of hepatic lesions and is an important aid to treatment planning and prognostication.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"