Liver Biopsy

A Liver Biopsy is the removal of a small sample of tissue from the liver. It is a medical test that is done to aid diagnosis of liver disease, to assess the severity of known liver disease, and to monitor the progress of treatment. Liver biopsy is often required for the diagnosis of a liver problem (jaundice, abnormal blood tests) where blood tests, such as hepatitis A serology, have not been able to identify a cause. It is also required if hepatitis is possibly the result of medication, but the exact nature of the reaction is unclear. Alcoholic liver disease and tuberculosis of the liver may be diagnosed through biopsy. Direct biopsy of tumors of the liver may aid the diagnosis, although this may be avoided if the source is clear. If the diagnosis is already clear, such as chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C, liver biopsy is useful to assess the severity of the associated liver damage. The same is true for haemochromatosis (iron overload), although it is frequently omitted. Primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis may require biopsy, although other diagnostic modalities have made this less necessary. Occasionally, liver biopsy is required to monitor the progress of treatment, such as in chronic viral hepatitis.


Download Important Patient Forms