Liver Biopsy; Indications, Contraindications, Preparing and Procedure

Contraindications of liver biopsy

There are only a few contraindications of a liver biopsy because there are many techniques and approaches, as noted above. When one of them cannot be performed, others are still available for a given patient. However, your doctor will likely not perform a biopsy if you have the following problems:

  • An increase in your prothrombin time or an INR above 1.6. Both conditions suggest clotting or healing problems that will potentially cause uncontrollable bleeding due to a liver biopsy. Thus, it will be contraindicated in such cases.
  • Thrombocytopenia, which is a low platelet count. When it is under 60,000 per μL, the risk of bleeding is very high, and the procedure is not performed for the same reason.
  • Ascites, which is an abdominal collection of abundant liquid. Doctors will first drain the excess liquid and then proceed with a liver biopsy in such cases. Alternatively, they can use a transjugular approach to obtain the tissue sample.
  • Hemangiomas are tumors made up of vascular tissue. The blood flow is very abundant in hemangiomas, and they are very easy to bleed. Thus, many doctors would not take a liver sample of a suspected hemangioma to avoid the risk of bleeding.
  • Another contraindication is having an uncooperative patient. This procedure requires precision, especially if we want to achieve a sample of a particular liver area. Thus, patient cooperation is required.

Written by Martin Davis