Background and aim To minimize the sample variability of liver biopsy, the tissue length should be at least 25 mm. Consequently, more than one biopsy pass is needed with cutting biopsy needles. We aimed to investigate the risk factors of biopsy-related complication, including the number of biopsy passes. Methods All consecutive liver biopsies performed between 2005 and 2014 were included. Biopsies were ultrasound assisted and performed with cutting biopsy needles. A complication was an event where the patient visited a healthcare provider because of biopsy-related complaints. Complications followed by hospitalization 2 or more days or intervention were considered severe. Results In total, 1806 liver biopsies were analyzed. Overall, 102 (5.6%) complications were observed, of which 31 (1.7%) were severe. One (0.06%) patient died. Common complications were pain (n = 75/102; 74%) and bleeding (n = 34/102; 33%). Two biopsy passes were not associated with an increased risk of complications compared with one biopsy pass [odds ratio (OR): 1.59; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.83-3.04; P = 0.16], whereas three or more biopsy passes increased this risk compared with one (OR: 2.97; 95% CI: 1.38-6.42; P = 0.005) or two biopsy passes (OR: 1.87; 95% CI: 1.10-3.19; P = 0.021). The risk of severe complications was not influenced by the number of biopsy passes (P > 0.24). Hepatic malignancy (OR: 3.21; 95% CI: 1.18-8.73; P = 0.022) and international normalized ratio 1.4 or more (OR: 7.03; 95% CI: 2.74-18.08; P < 0.001) were risk factors of severe complications. Conclusion Severe complication rate and mortality were low. Performing multiple biopsy passes was not associated with severe complications, whereas hepatic malignancy or elevated international normalized ratio were associated with an increased risk.

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European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Chi, H., Hansen, B., Tang, W.Y. (Wing Yin), Schouten, J. N. L., Sprengers, D., Taimr, P., … de Knegt, R. (2017). Multiple biopsy passes and the risk of complications of percutaneous liver biopsy. European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 29(1), 36–41. doi:10.1097/MEG.0000000000000731