Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pediatr Radiol. 2009 Sep;39(9):959-61. doi: 10.1007/s00247-009-1311-9. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

Is juvenile liver biopsy unsafe? Putting an end to a common misapprehension.

Author information

  • 1Liver Unit, Pediatric Hospital Bambino Gesù, 00165 Rome, Italy.



Percutaneous needle biopsy of the liver is the most common procedure used in clinical hepatology for histopathological examination and assessment of liver disease, and remains the cornerstone in the evaluation and management of parenchymal liver diseases. Liver biopsy is generally regarded as a safe procedure, but mortality rates up to 1:10,000 have been reported. In 2003, our group showed that routine use of US as a guide to liver biopsy reduces the rate of complications and provides a higher diagnostic yield.


To report our experience of US-guided liver biopsy in children.


We retrospectively reviewed all 421 liver biopsies performed in our department from October 2003 to December 2008. All samples had been obtained by the US-guided technique. All patients had a liver US examination performed prior to the procedure by the same radiologist performing the biopsy.


US guidance allowed constant visualization of the needle leading to appropriate tissue sampling in all 421 children (including 221 obese children), and in 79% of children with only one pass. Pain in the right upper quadrant after liver biopsy was experienced by 36% of patients.


US-guided percutaneous biopsy of the liver in children, performed in a specialized tertiary care paediatric centre by experienced and skilled physicians, can be considered safe and effective.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk