A liver biopsy may be done to:

  • Diagnose a liver problem that can't be otherwise identified
  • Obtain a sample of tissue from an abnormality found by an imaging study
  • Determine the severity of liver disease — a process called staging
  • Help develop treatment plans based on the liver's condition
  • Determine how well treatment for liver disease is working
  • Monitor the liver after a liver transplant

Your doctor may recommend a liver biopsy if you have:

  • Abnormal liver test results that can't be explained
  • A mass (tumor) or other abnormalities on your liver as seen on imaging tests
  • Ongoing, unexplained fevers

A liver biopsy also is commonly performed to help diagnose and stage certain liver diseases, including:

  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Chronic hepatitis B or C
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Wilson's disease
Dec. 04, 2014