A liver biopsy is a procedure to remove a small piece of liver tissue, so it can be examined under a microscope for signs of damage or disease. Your doctor may recommend a liver biopsy if blood tests or imaging studies suggest you might have a liver problem. A liver biopsy is also used to determine the severity of liver disease. This information helps guide treatment decisions.
The most common type of liver biopsy is called percutaneous liver biopsy. It involves inserting a thin needle through your abdomen into the liver and removing a small piece of tissue. Two other types of liver biopsy — one using a vein in the neck (transjugular) and the other using a small abdominal incision (laparoscopic) — also remove liver tissue with a needle.
Dec. 04, 2014
- Liver biopsy. Alexandria, Va.: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. http://www.aasld.org/practiceguidelines/Pages/guidelinelisting.aspx. Accessed Oct. 2, 2014.
- Bravo A, et al. Percutaneous, fine needle aspiration, and laparoscopic liver biopsy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 2, 2014
- Liver biopsy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/liverbiopsy/index.aspx. Accessed Oct. 2, 2014.