Curbside Consultation of the Liver: 49 Clinical Questions

Mitchell L. Shiffman, MD

Question 3: Do All Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Require A Liver Biopsy? (continued)

Ramesh Ashwath, MD; Mitchell L. Shiffman, MD

Liver biopsy has long been utilized as a tool to both diagnose and or confirm the specific etiology of liver disease and to assess disease severity. The biopsy can be performed via percutaneous, transjugular, or laparoscopic techniques. The risk of complications associated with liver biopsy ranges from 0.5% to 2%. Bleeding complications occur most commonly in patients with thrombocytopenia or an elevation in INR and when a vascular mass is biopsied. In most large series, the risk of complications associated with diagnostic percutaneous liver biopsy in patients without laboratory evidence of…