OBJECTIVE: Liver biopsy is a very important investigation in Hepatology. The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the prevalence of complications after Percutaneous Liver Biopsy (PLB), performed in two groups of patients with liver transplantation or with liver disease. We compared our results with those most representative of the literature and discussed about indications, advantages and disadvantages in relation to the different modes for the execution of this procedure, with particular regard to the use of ultrasound guidance.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We analyzed the results of 847 PLB performed with the Menghini technique between January 2004 and December 2013 at the Transplant Unit of the University of Rome Tor Vergata. The indications for biopsy were: follow-up liver transplantation, HBV, HCV and HBV/HCV related liver disease, alcohol related liver disease and HIV coinfected with HBV or HCV. Our patients were classified into two groups according to specific indication: patients with liver transplantation (group A) and patients with liver disease (group B). The procedure was always performed in the Day Hospital regimen. After the biopsy, the patients remained in bed for about 4-6 hours. In absence of complications, they were then discharged in the same day.
RESULTS: The most frequent complication was pain after biopsy (group A n. 45, 7.9%; group B n. 85, 30.9%), requiring analgesics administration, hypotension as a result of a vasovagal reaction resolved spontaneously (group A n. 6, 1.0%; group B n. 6, 2.2%), and bleeding (group A n. 1, 0.2%; group B n. 6, 2.2%), which, however, has never necessitated surgery, except in one case of hemothorax. Two cases of pneumothorax were resolved with chest tube. Other complications did not have a significant impact.
CONCLUSIONS: Liver biopsy is not replaceable investigation to diagnose several liver diseases and their course and also to monitor the condition of the hepatic parenchyma after transplantation. Among the various methods we preferred the Menghini technique with percutaneous transcostal approach, because less traumatic. This procedure presents low occurrence of various problems. We reviewed the literature regarding the major complications related to the technique and the use of ultrasound guidance. Based on our case series and data reported by the main Authors, we believe that ultrasound guidance is not decisive in the prevention of major complications. It is useful if done in the days or weeks prior to biopsy only in order to know any anatomical abnormalities or rather diseases that may pose a specific indication for the procedure with ultrasound guidance.Free PDF Download
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To cite this article
V. Filingeri, D. Sforza, G. Tisone
Complications and risk factors of a large series of percutaneous liver biopsies in patients with liver transplantation or liver disease
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 19 - N. 9