Liver Biopsy; Indications, Contraindications, Preparing and Procedure

Different approaches to obtain a liver biopsy

Nowadays, there are plenty of ways to obtain a liver biopsy, and your doctor will choose one according to the case.

  • He could simply tap on your chest in a procedure known as percussion. After locating the liver, he would take a percutaneous sample (through the skin).
  • Instead of guiding through percussion, we can locate a very specific lesion in the liver through ultrasonography or a CT scan and take the sample of this area.
  • There’s also an intravascular approach, in which instruments for liver biopsy go through the hepatic vein. They reach the liver in this route and take the sample.
  • During an open abdominal surgery or a laparotomy, your doctor can also access the liver directly and take a tissue sample.
  • Some specialists may also use an endoscope to guide themselves through ultrasound and take the sample.

The correct approach and the type of needle used for the procedure depend on the availability, physician experience, the clinical situation, and the location of the lesion we want to investigate.

Written by Martin Davis