Original Articles

Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 13-15

First online:

Plugged liver biopsy in patients with impaired coagulation

  • Michael V. TobinAffiliated withGastroenterology Unit, Royal Liverpool Hospital
  • , Ian T. GilmoreAffiliated withGastroenterology Unit, Royal Liverpool Hospital

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Histology is of paramount importance in the investigation of hepatic disease but conventional percutaneous liver biopsy is contraindicated when coagulation is significantly impaired. We have used a modified percutaneous approach with plugging of the needle track in 100 patients with vitamin K-resistant prolongation of prothrombin time up to 12 sec above control values or platelet counts as low as 20×109/liter. All were successful, and there were no serious complications. The technique is straightforward and is a feasible alternative to the more complex transvenous approach.

Key words

plugged percutaneous liver biopsy impaired coagulation