Getting the Most Out of Liver Biopsy
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Histopathologic evaluation of liver biopsy specimens yields information that is not otherwise obtainable and is frequently essential for diagnosing hepatic disease. Percutaneous needle biopsy, laparoscopic biopsy, and surgical biopsy each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Care should be taken to ensure an adequate amount of tissue is collected for meaningful histologic evaluation. Because sampling error is a limitation of hepatic biopsy, multiple liver lobes should be biopsied. This article discusses the indications for liver biopsy, associated risks, advantages and disadvantages of different biopsy techniques, and strategies to get the most useful information possible out of this process.
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